Ex-East Haven Police Officer Miller Sentenced to Four Months
During his sentencing hearing, former EHPD Sgt. John Miller — one of four officers indicted for civil rights violations — was credited by the judge for his cooperation in the federal government's investigation and prosecution of the case.
John Miller, 44, a former sergeant with the department, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson to four months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for violating an individual’s civil rights by using unreasonable force during the course of an arrest, according to the United States Attorney District of Connecticut's office.
Miller was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.
Miller's sentence is the result a federal criminal investigation into members of the East Haven Police Department using excessive force during arrests, conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures and filing false police reports.
As a result of the investigation, Miller and former officers Dennis Spaulding, Jason Zullo and David Cari were all convicted of various civil rights offenses.
According to Tom Carson, the public information officer for the U.S. Attorney of Connecticut's office, court documents and statements made in court report that in the course of making an arrest on Jan. 3, 2010, Miller struck a handcuffed individual while the victim was in the secure custody of two other East Haven Police officers.
Although he had originally plead not guilty to the charges, on Sept. 21, 2012 Miller changed his plea to guilty to one count of depriving an individual of his right to be free from the use of excessive force by a law enforcement officer.
During the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Judge Thompson credited Miller for his cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this matter and imposed a sentence below the recommended sentencing guidelines range of 12 to 18 months of imprisonment, Carson said.
Miller, who has retired from the East Haven Police Department, was ordered to report to prison on March 13.
On Oct. 23, 2012, Jason Zullo — who had also originally plead not guilty — changed his plea to guilty to one count of obstruction stemming from his filing of a false police report in order to prevent a possible excessive force investigation. On Dec. 16, 2013, he was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment.
On Oct. 21, 2013, David Cari was found guilty of one count of conspiracy against rights, one count of deprivation of rights for making an arrest without probable cause, and one count of obstruction of a federal investigation for preparing a false report. On January 21, 2014, he was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment.
On Oct. 21, 2013, Dennis Spaulding was found guilty of one count of conspiracy against rights, one count of use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer, two counts of deprivation of rights for making arrests without probable cause, and two counts of obstruction of a federal investigation for preparing false reports to justify the false arrests. On Jan. 23, he was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment.