While a blushing bride and smiling groom exited one of the Magistrate Court rooms Friday, Rodney E. Miller Sr. -- the embattled former head of Schneider Regional Medical Center -- huddled with his attorneys in the hallway, preparing for an advice of rights hearing on the third set of charges brought against Miller in the past two years.
The scenes were in stark contrast to one another -- as the bridal party left the building amid some muffled cheers from the people waiting outside the courtroom, Miller and his attorneys, all dressed in dark suits, waited a few minutes before shuffling in and taking their seats.
Miller turned himself in to authorities Thursday, after an arrest warrant was issued earlier this month charging that he, through his attorney, attempted to get false evidence -- an allegedly fake military identification card -- admitted during a February 2009 trial in which Miller was convicted of lying on his government job application.
When he was arrested this week, Miller's bail was set at $10,000. Friday Magistrate Judge Kathleen Mackay said the bail had been posted. Mackay said since a judge had signed the arrest warrant, probable cause had already been established, so the only thing left to do was advise Miller of his rights.
Miller's attorney, William Glore, objected, saying the charges, laid out in an affidavit by a Nicholas Peru, a special investigator from the V.I. Inspector General's office, did not meet the requirements of the law, since Miller did not actually "prepare" or create the allegedly false evidence.
"You have been duped by Mr. Peru's affidavit," Glore said.
"But doesn't the law also say, 'or cause it to be produced?'" Mackay responded. "I'm not convinced by your argument, counsel."
Mackay said Glore could take it up with the judge that will handle Miller's case.
Moving on with advice of rights, the judge explained that the new charges brought against Miller – one count each of preparing false evidence, offering false documents in evidence and attempted fraudulent claims upon the government – carried a combined maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, along with $2,500 in fines.
The judge did not alter the bail amount, but did impose conditions – mainly that Miller could travel between his home in Florida and the territory but would have to let the court or probation office know in advance before he traveled anywhere else. She also said Miller would have to appear in court on St. Thomas for his hearings, which includes an arraignment set for 9 a.m. next Thursday.
Glore asked that Miller be excused from appearing at arraignment because many of Miller's assets had been frozen in another case – in which he and three other former hospital officials are facing numerous charges ranging from embezzlement to perjury – and had put a strain on his financial resources.
Government attorney Denise George-Counts said that while many of his properties are frozen, Miller is still collecting rental income from real estate he has in Texas. Miller is also employed as a consultant, so he has an income and can appear at arraignment, she added.
Mackay denied Glore's request, but said that he could re-file it in writing to Magistrate Judge Alan Smith.
Neither Miller nor his attorneys were willing to comment after Friday's hearing.