GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man accused of shooting and severely wounding a Gallipolis Police Officer last month has pleaded not guilty to six charges stemming from the incident, including a charge of attempted aggravated murder.
Cole Creighton Miller, 28, Gallipolis, was arraigned on Tuesday in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County and charged with attempted aggravated murder, three counts of felonious assault, one count of obstructing official business and one count of resisting arrest.
Miller was arrested during the early morning hours of September 24 after he allegedly opened fire on several police officers who had arrived at his residence — an incident that resulted in the shooting of Ptl. James Bartels of the Gallipolis Police Department.
Law enforcement officials were called to the scene, an apartment complex located at 1815 McCormick Road, at approximately 12:37 a.m. on the morning of September 24. Officers were dispatched to respond to a domestic violence situation reportedly involving an individual, later identified as Miller, kicking in his neighbor’s door and shooting a vehicle near the residence.
Deputy Fred Workman with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office was initially contacted by dispatchers to respond to the residence, but, at the time of the call, the deputy, who was the only road patrol deputy on call that night, was in the southern end of the county en route to assist other officers who had discovered a meth lab.
As a result, City Police Officers Bartels and Ptl. Shallon Schuldt were asked to respond to the call, while Workman quickly made his way back toward McCormick Road.
According to testimony heard during a preliminary hearing in this case, the deputy arrived on scene in time to witness the events of that evening and heard four shots fired, including one aimed in the direction of Schuldt, and a second that injured Bartels.
Shortly thereafter, Bartels was rushed to Holzer Medical Center by fellow officer, Chris Withee, who arrived on scene. Bartels was later flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital.
After Bartels was injured, Miller responded to the officers’ commands and surrendered to Workman and Schuldt.
According to Lt. Matt Champlin of the Gallipolis Police Department, Bartels was to be released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Since the initial incident, Bartels has remained in the care of the facility in Huntington, W.Va., and Champlin reported that his fellow officer successfully underwent his sixth surgery on Monday to close the wound on his left arm that was severely damaged as a result of last month’s shooting.
Miller, who made an initial appearance in the Gallipolis Municipal Court following the incident, was indicted after his case was heard by a grand jury last Thursday.
The indictment alleges that on September 24, Miller engaged in conduct that, if successful, would have resulted in aggravated murder — conduct resulting in a charge of attempted aggravated murder, a felony of the first degree.
The six-count indictment further states that the defendant knowingly caused, or attempted to cause physical harm to Ptl. James Bartels, Ptl. Shallon Schuldt and Dep. Fred Workman by means of a deadly weapon — a Remington .870 12 gauge shotgun — all felonies of the first degree, as well as hampered a public official’s duties while creating risk of physical harm, a fifth degree felony, and resisted arrest while brandishing a deadly weapon, a fourth degree felony.
The first five counts of the indictment also carry gun specifications that state that Miller discharged a firearm at a peace officer while committing the offenses.
During Tuesday’s hearing before Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans, Miller appeared with retained counsel William Eachus.
His bond was continued from the municipal court and remains at $1 million, 10 percent. A negotiated plea in this case may be filed by December 3. A jury trial has been scheduled for December 17.
Miller is being held in the Gallia County Jail.