A trial of the man accused in a string of house burglaries in Ansonia and Derby was delayed because of a civil rights lawsuit filed by the suspect.
Davon Miller, 22, has 25 criminal charges pending against him in connection to a string of break-ins that had Ansonia’s hilltop area on edge in 2015.
Miller was in court May 31 because a criminal trial in connection to four of the burglaries was scheduled to start.
But Miller also has a civil rights lawsuit pending in federal court against several Derby police officers, a prosecutor, a judge, and his court-appointed defense lawyer.
Miller alleges his civil rights were violated by Derby police after he was arrested.
Miller accused the police of spitting in his food turning up the air conditioning in his holding cell while he sat wet and without a shirt after being captured during a foot chase.
He said he has developed post-traumatic stress disorder because of the police. Miller is “willing to settle” the lawsuit for $1 million according to the lawsuit.
Miller’s federal lawsuit also alleges his defense attorney he was working with didn’t do enough to research the criminal charges in his burglary cases.
But, in court last week, Miller asked that the defense lawyer he is suing, Molly Arabolos, represent him.
Miller had been contemplating representing himself at the trial last week.
His last-minute request caused Milford Superior Court Judge Denise Markle to push the trial to July or August.
Six jurors and two alternates had already been chosen.
“Unfortunately, you’ve put yourself in a box,” the judge told Miller outside the presence of the jurors. “You’ve filed a federal lawsuit against the attorney. We can’t go forward today.”
Arabolos seemed prepared to represent Miller, but the judge opted to delay the trial after speaking with her and Amy Bepko, the prosecutor in the case, behind closed doors.
“I’m not going to put her in a difficult legal position,” the judge told Miller in court. “I’m going to allow her out.”
Judge Markle told Miller she would appoint a new lawyer to represent him. She asked him repeatedly whether he was sure that was what he wants to do.
“You understand the consequences — you’re going to have to accept whatever counsel is appointed to you?” she asked Miller.
“Yes,” Miller replied.
The judge then had jurors brought into the courtroom, where she told them that the trial would be delayed because of “a legal matter.”
“Glitches occur, and sometimes it is out of the control of everybody,” the judge said. “We all have to keep in mind that the bottom line focus is a fair and impartial trial for everybody.”
Miller has been behind bars since September 2015.