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Two Dead in Jefferson County Murder-Suicide

STEUBENVILLE — A man still angered over his breakup with a Bloomingdale-area woman several years ago brutally executed her current boyfriend early Tuesday morning, then took his own life, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said.

Abdalla said the victim, 69-year-old Richard Miser of Jewett, was shot six times, with several of the bullets fired point-blank into his head, while his girlfriend, who is not being identified, was forced to watch.

The suspected shooter, Terry Miller, 69, county Road 55, Hammondsville, then turned the gun on himself, but not before telling the woman he should have killed her, too, he said.

“He shot a person six times — six times — and talked to the man while he laid there dying with three bullet holes in him, saying, ‘Why don’t you die?’ then shot him three more times.”

The woman called 911 as soon as the suspect shot himself, but deputies already were en route after his stepson called the sheriff’s department to report Miller had said he was “going to kill a guy.” The first call came in around 1:45 a.m.

“Terry Miller used to date her. They hadn’t dated in over four years and she had a new boyfriend,” Abdalla said. “He (Miller) was upset, he blamed the new boyfriend for ruining his life.”

He said Miller continued to threaten the woman’s life up until he turned the gun on himself.

“After the victim had three bullet holes in him … he sits down and starts talking to the ex-girlfriend, then goes over and shoots (Miser) in the head three more times,” the sheriff said. “He told her she had to sit there and watch everything he was doing.”

Abdalla said there could have been more bloodshed had the ice-covered roads not slowed the response time of his deputies, pointing out Miller could have easily turned the gun on them, too, if they’d arrived before his death shot.

“If my officers would have gotten there in time, they could have been hurt,” the sheriff said. “Thank God they weren’t hurt, and thank God he didn’t shoot the woman.”

Abdalla said officers recovered cards Miller had stamped and was ready to mail, one to an ex-girlfriend in Las Vegas and another to a family member in West Virginia, “admitting his life was miserable and (blaming) the woman for everything.”

“He said he had to do it, he wanted to do it,” the sheriff said. “He said he’d killed (Miser) 100 times (in his mind) — the anger had been building.”

Abdalla said the woman had initially taken out a protection order against Miller after their breakup four years ago, but had dropped it. He said the suspect’s only other interaction with law enforcement was in the mid-1980s when Miller was arrested and sentenced to seven to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking.

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