Three Members of Suspected Home Invasion Gang in Court - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/03/06

Three Members of Suspected Home Invasion Gang in Court

Elderly victims, despicable crimes. Investigators say Lisa Johnson, Walter Miller and Peter Miller are part of a gang terrorizing elderly men and women in their homes across the country, from Savannah to Garden City, Tampa to Chicago and New York. Twenty-three cities in all.

The trio was in court in Chatham County today. Two victims from Savannah recalled the horrible day they were robbed in their homes. They are elderly, they have trouble getting around, and one of them has Alzheimer's disease. Police believe that's why this gang targeted them.

One by one, Lisa Johnson, her boyfriend Walter Miller, and his nephew Peter Miller walked into court shackled and handcuffed. Prosecutors say, on March 3, they forced their way into 83-year-old Rosa Lee Bryan's home and robbed her.

Bryan has Alzheimer's and the home invaders didn't leave until her husband and daughter returned home from the barber shop and saw what was happening. Johnson and the Millers are accused of stealing money, the couple's wedding rings and other jewelry.

The next day, prosecutors say Walter Miller forced his way into Ruth Jordan's home. "I said, 'Lord have mercy, they are going to kill me,'" Jordan recalled.

They didn't kill her, but they stole jewelry that belonged to her late daughter and husband. "I think it's terrible to rob old people," she said.

Judge Tammy Cox-Stokes found enough evidence against Lisa Johnson and Walter Miller to send the cases to a grand jury.

Peter Miller was just extradited to Chatham County Sunday night. US marshals arrested him in Hollywood, Florida, a couple of weeks ago on a warrant by Savannah-Chatham police.

The judge scheduled another hearing for him next Tuesday.

Judge Stokes is keeping them in jail without bond. She calls them a risk to our community. Lisa Johnson and Walter Miller were in court last week for beating and robbing a women in Garden City. That's the case that really broke open the rest of these investigations.

A special prosecutor has been assigned to try crimes against the elderly.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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