The last of the nine former Theo Lacy Jail inmates charged in the Oct. 5, 2006 murder of John Chmaberlain, a fellow prisoner suspected of being a child molester, has been sentenced to prison. Miller, 26, of Huntington Beach, received a punishment of six years in state prison for his role in the murder, which involved dozens of inmates and lasted for up to 45 minutes while guards watched television
and texted their girlfriends in a nearby guard tower.
Unlike six other co-defendants who received prison sentences of at least 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder, Miller was only charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Inmates took turns punching, kicking and stomping on Chamberlain, and at
some point, his attackers anally penetrated him with a plastic spoon
and a tube of toothpaste. Sources familiar with the case including inmates at the jail when the
crime occurred described Miller, a diminutive figure behind bars for
drunk driving, as having been heavily medicated when the attack took place. He reportedly broke his arm during the attack.
In interviews with detectives in the hours after the
attack, the defendants first claimed not to have been involved and later
tried to assert that there was never any plan to murder Chamberlain,
and that such beatings were routine events that took place with full
knowledge of guards. Only prisoners were charged in the crime, but a jail guard, Kevin Taylor, implicated in the rumor that led to Chamberlain's death, lost his job, as did several high-level officials involved in oversight at Theo Lacy.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).