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Possible motive released in Albany landlord-tenant homicide

7-3-2011 Oregon:

Possible motive released in Albany landlord-tenant homicide

ALBANY, Ore. (KMTR) -- New information and a possible motive has been released in an Albany homicide, as the female suspect in the case makes her first appearance in court on Thursday.

35-year-old Melissa Amber Haley of Albany is charged with murder in the shooting death of 49-year-old Derrick Miller of Albany. Haley was arraigned on the charge Thursday, June 30th, 2011.

Albany Police say Miller and Haley lived in the same house. Miller was Haley’s landlord. Police say Haley admitted to shooting Miller just before noon on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011.

According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, at least four people lived in the home where the shooting happened, on the 600 block of Montgomery Street in southeast Albany.

In the affidavit, Albany Police say Haley rented two rooms in the home, one for herself and one for her 12-year-old child, starting in December 2010. Police say Miller and his wife also lived in the home.

Police say Haley called 911 on Wednesday, telling dispatchers she has “just shot a man.” When Albany Police officers arrived on scene, according to the affidavit, Haley exclaimed, “I couldn’t take it anymore!” and “He’s a pedophile!”

According to the affidavit, Haley later spoke to detectives, accusing Miller of sexually abusing a 4-year-old in the basement of the home in December 2010. Haley alleged that the 4-year-old was in Miller’s wife’s care. Haley also told police that she never reported the allegations to authorities, only to her friend.

In the investigation, Albany Police also interviewed Miller’s wife. In the affidavit, police say Miller’s wife told detectives that she hasn’t provided day care to anyone in the last five years, also that no young children visit the residence at all.

Neighbors say they are shocked by the shooting.

“These people were really nice people. They never fought and argued with each other, we spent afternoon with them where they could have, and they just didn't do that, they were just really gentle people," says David Cunningham, a neighbor, speaking of the Miller family.

"Always active in the neighborhood and active going out boating, camping all the time, fishing,” says Cunningham.

Other details in the affidavit also state that Haley told Albany Police that she had shot Miller in the stomach. Officers found Miller in his home with a gunshot wound in his head.

The affidavit also states that Haley told Albany Police that she suffers from “anxiety” and “depression” and is on medication to treat both conditions.

The Albany Police Department and Linn County District Attorney’s Office declined any further comment on the case on Thursday, June 30th, 2011. Both agencies are continuing to investigate the case.

Albany Police served a search warrant on the home on Thursday and cleared the crime scene early Thursday afternoon. ..Source.. by Chris McKee

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