Police: Girlfriend shoots, kills Athens man - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Police: Girlfriend shoots, kills Athens man

James Miller James Miller

By Bobby Shuttleworth - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Athens police spent Wednesday processing the scene of a murder, hours after arresting Lisa Mechelle Pate for the murder of James Miller.

Miller's wife and daughter are out of the country on a mission trip. The family pastor had to break the news to the family over the phone.

Miller, 59, was discovered shot to death inside his home early Tuesday afternoon. After combing the Miller house and talking to relatives, Athens police traveled to Arab, where they interviewed Pate, 40.

"They were able to ascertain that she and Mr. Miller had a relationship for some time," said Athens Police Chief Wayne Harper.

Pate was arrested just before midnight Tuesday. Investigators said she had an argument with Miller and then drove from Arab and shot and killed him.

Harper said that arrest came after a statement from her concerning their relationship.

The victim's family's pastor Rick Craft had a tough job telling Miller's wife, who was on a mission trip to Guatemala with their 16-year-old daughter, that her husband was dead.

"One of the most difficult things was talking to Donna and realizing the hurt in her heart and in her voice," said Craft. "It was just terrible."

Craft said the church family is waiting on Donna Miller and her daughter to return, and said they are asking for prayers for the family.

 "I think in these situations, the only thing we have is faith," he said. "I heard someone say yesterday afternoon - in fact, I think they were talking to Donna - and the words were, 'You're going to make it because you have your faith to lean on.'"

The final charge by police against Pate will be murder.

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