Not guilty verdict for ex-BSO deputy accused of slamming girl to floor

After testifying in his defense earlier this week, Willard Miller was found not guilty on Thursday afternoon.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Thursday marks day 3 in the child abuse trial of former Broward County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Willard Miller who is accused of grabbing a teenage girl by the neck and throwing her to the floor at a school in Pompano Beach.

After testifying in his defense earlier this week, Miller was found not guilty on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s been a long three years,” he said outside of the courtroom. “Seeing all the things that were said about me, knowing that’s not true, it was hard not being able to speak out. Now I’m able to be vindicated and everybody knows the truth.”

Miller took the stand Wednesday, speaking about his background and the issues that were going on at the Cross Creek therapeutic school, where apparently multiple students had been caught using vape pens, including the alleged victim in the case.

He said the school was concerned someone was selling them on campus.

“It created a concern that I wasn’t sure it wasn’t a coincidence that there were so many students being found with vape pens. I felt like it’s probably someone who is providing or selling to the students,” Miller said.

Miller testified that the 15-year-old victim was defiant, questioned him and at one point kicked him in the back of the leg, which you can see on video.

He then said that he told the girl that if she was acting like this outside of school to any other police officer, she would’ve been arrested for a felony.

According to Miller, the teen was still defiant and didn’t care what he had to say.

“I know from past experiences that she was a spitter,” said Miller as he then demonstrated how the takedown was supposed to go down on that day.

He emphasized that his arm never went around her neck, but instead he wrapped his arm around her collarbone.

Miller is expected to be cross examined by the state on Thursday.

About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.