Sentence for Somerset man convicted in home invasion case reduced on appeal

Gregory S. Miller

A Somerset man sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2016 home invasion was re-sentenced in Pulaski Circuit Court last month in accordance with a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling.

Gregory Scott Miller, 62, was found guilty in August 2018 of one count of first-degree Burglary and two counts of first-degree Wanton Endangerment after a two-day jury trial. Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette (now retired) imposed sentence as recommended by jurors: 20 years on the burglary count and five years each on the wanton endangerment counts to run consecutively for a total of 30 years.

No one was injured in the August 18, 2016 incident that took place at a residence in the Cardinal Hills subdivision.

Reports at the time stated that Miller was armed with a 20-gauge shotgun when he approached a 10-year-old in the backyard of the residence. The child gave him access to the home before ultimately running to a neighbor's house. Once inside, Miller struggled with Josh Godby, whereupon the shotgun went off, hitting the ceiling.

Miller appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion for directed verdict, by allowing testimony of a prior bad act and not instructing the jury on lesser offenses.

While the Supreme Court upheld Miller's burglary conviction, they reversed the wanton endangerment convictions and remanded the case back to the Pulaski Circuit Court for re-sentencing in February 2020. Concerning one of the victims, Godby's girlfriend, the justices found that there was no evidence that Miller endangered her specifically. Regarding Godby himself, the Court ruled that the jury should have been instructed to consider lesser offenses in addition to first-degree wanton endangerment.

Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the subsequent retirements of both the trial judge and prosecutor, the case didn't see any real movement until a few months ago.

On September 17, Pulaski Circuit Judge John Prather Jr. entered an order dismissing one of the wanton endangerment counts then vacated the other in accordance with the Supreme Court in a separate order dated October 1. Together those orders resulted in Miller's sentence being reduced to 20 years.

In the meantime, following the Supreme Court ruling, Miller had already been paroled as of December 23 of last year -- having served at least 15 percent of the sentence. He is expected to be under state supervision through July 14, 2030.

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