Victim's family sends condolences to the family of son's killer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Victim's family sends condolences to the family of son's killer

DeMorst, who is serving 10 years on other charges, will now spend the rest of his life in jail without the possibility of parole. (Photo source: WLOX) DeMorst, who is serving 10 years on other charges, will now spend the rest of his life in jail without the possibility of parole. (Photo source: WLOX)
Left to right: District Attorney Tony Lawrence, Suzanna Miller, Jimmy Miller (Photo source: WLOX) Left to right: District Attorney Tony Lawrence, Suzanna Miller, Jimmy Miller (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

It took a jury six hours to find Nicholas DeMorst guilty of the capital murder of Hunter Miller. DeMorst, who is serving 10 years on other charges, will now spend the rest of his life in jail without the possibility of parole.

While the verdict gives Miller's family some closure, they extended their condolences to the family of their son's killer.

"Our hearts go out to the DeMorst family," Jimmy Miller said. "As parents, we know all too well you can't choose the path your children choose to take. Sometimes, it leads to tragedy just like this, and we hate it for them."

As the verdict was read, DeMorst's family broke down. His mom collapsed on the floor in tears and had to be helped out of the courtroom.

"Oh my God, oh my God," she was crying as she left.

Other family members and friends were screaming in the hallway and in the parking lot.

DeMorst was convicted of robbing and shooting Miller during a drug deal in January 2014. While the Millers remember their son as a talented young man who was loved by many, they admit he struggled with addiction. They hope their tragic loss will open the eyes of others.

"It won't bring Hunter back," Suzanna Miller said. "But, it shows other people the horrible path that addiction can take."

"I hope this is yet another example that maybe our young kids, when they are sitting there trying to decide if they want a life of drugs and life of gangs," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "Hunter was not in a gang. Hunter had a drug addiction, but because of the gang that came from California to this area, that's what cost Hunter his life. It was a shocking crime. It was senseless crime. It's been a long, hard road to live through this, and it's one of those things I don't think they will ever get past, but today, justice was served in Jackson County."

As the Millers now begin a new chapter of healing, they know their lives will never be the same.

"If you had a room full of people talking and mulling around, and when Hunter walked in, it would be like a bright light came on in the room no matter where he went," Suzanna Miller said. "When we lost him, I felt like the world was just a little bit darker, because he was such a bright light."

Miller's best friend, Collin Cooper, was with him the night of the murder. He hasn't been the same since his friend's death.

"I feel a little relief. Maybe I can get a little sleep tonight," Cooper said. "My prayers go out to both families, and I pray that maybe one day I can forgive Nicholas DeMorst. I know the key to my happiness will come with forgiving him."

Recently, Lawrence declared a war on street gangs, saying he's sick of those living on the streets not talking, but in this case, he said things were different.

"I'm proud to say the people who were involved in this tragedy stood up for truth and justice today," Lawrence said. "I'm proud of those witnesses who stand on the streets and live on the streets, but they stood up for truth and justice and stood for the right, and that's something I'm proud of that happened in the courtroom."

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  • Victim's family sends condolences to the family of son's killerMore>>

  • Breaking

    DeMorst found guilty of capital murder; Sentenced to life without parole

    DeMorst found guilty of capital murder; Sentenced to life without parole

    Thursday, June 4 2015 5:23 PM EDT2015-06-04 21:23:53 GMT
    Thursday, June 4 2015 6:43 PM EDT2015-06-04 22:43:32 GMT
    Nicholas Marcell DeMorst (Photo source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department)Nicholas Marcell DeMorst (Photo source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department)
    Nicholas DeMorst has been convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of Hunter Miller. After closing arguments Thursday and four hours of deliberations, the judge had planned to send the jury home for the day, but jurors came back into the courtroom and said they had reached a verdict.More >>
    Nicholas DeMorst has been convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of Hunter Miller. After closing arguments Thursday and four hours of deliberations, the judge had planned to send the jury home for the day, but jurors came back into the courtroom and said they had reached a verdict.More >>
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