William Alma Miller, the man in custody for the 2004 murder of Rebekah Gould appeared before Judge Tim Weaver in court July 21 at the Izard County Criminal Justice Facility courtroom.

Miller is charged with murder in the first degree, a class Y felony.

Following the entrance of Judge Weaver to the courtroom, Miller was led in wearing an orange jumpsuit and fully shackled.

Prosecuting attorneys, Clyde Eric Hance addressed the court by updating the judge on the progress in the case thus far.

Hance said both parties had met and presently, only two motions had been filed but that there were two separate sets of documents to be reviewed.

“We had a conference call and talked about the issues with this case and the two sets of files, one from 2004-2019 and the new part to some degree ongoing and in Oregon,” Hance said.

He also said all evidence had been returned from the crime lab and suggested a Rule 26 Style Scheduling as there would be a request to move the trial.

Hance said the only two motions filed had been for discovery on the side of both the prosecution and defense.

Both parties agreed scheduled guidance from the court would be beneficial.

Concerns were raised that trial and other aspects could be delayed if the defense intended to seek a motion for fitness to proceed or a motion to investigate criminal responsibility.

The defense acknowledged they had begun the process to investigate the possibility of filing a motion for fitness to proceed and had been actively seeking out record of mental healthcare provided to Miller in past years.

Judge Weaver stated the defense had had more than ample time to know whether or not they would make a motion to that effect on behalf of their client.

“He has had mental health issues and received treatment in the past and still has. It was a number of years ago and we did make requests of all health providers,” Joe Denton, one of Millers attorneys said.

Gray Dellinger, another of Miller’s attorneys, said little progress had been made in the efforts.

“We don’t have a good history and no records for the relevant time frame,” Denton said.

“We have directly solicited with nothing. We did find one in Lane County Oregon who had records but others are unknown or have no records,” Dellinger added.

Denton also said while the prosecution continued to narrow down their list of suspects, the defense’s list expanded and it was unclear what information their investigator might uncover in the coming months.

Ultimately, trial has been moved to February 16 through 18 of 2022.

In the mean time, a deadline of Nov. 1, 2021 had been set for motions of fitness to proceed or criminal responsibility.

If a motion to suppress were to be filed regarding the statement provided to authorities in Oregon where Miller was initially arrested, it must be filed by Sept. 1 but a hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 5 and 8.

The cutoff for motions of discovery has been set for Aug. 19 and Dec. 31 is the cutoff for all remaining motions.

Following the proceedings Miller was led out of the courtroom back to his cell.

The charge stems from an incident in Sept. 21 2004, when Gould was reported missing by family members.

The Izard County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police began to investigate Gould’s disappearance.

During the investigation, it was determined Gould had sustained “significant bodily injuries” which were believed to have occurred at a residence located in Izard County.

Approximately a week after her disappearance, Gould’s body was located, and it was determined by the medical examiner at the time the cause of death was homicide.

In November of 2020, Miller was interviewed in reference to the ongoing investigation into the death of Gould.

During the interview, Miller told authorities he had driven to a residence where he hid his pickup truck in a field behind the home.

Miller then approached the residence, knocking on the front door. When Gould opened the door, Miller said he needed to use the phone.

While Miller was pretending to use the phone, Gould went back to her bedroom at which time Miller retrieved a piano leg from the living room, entered Gould’s bedroom and struck her multiple times with the piano leg causing her death.

He then wrapped Gould in a blanket, put her body in the bed of his truck and dumped her along a two-lane highway a few miles outside of Melbourne.

Miller was placed under arrest in the state of Oregon initially and then extradited to Arkansas where he remains in jail on the charge of murder, a class Y felony.

Miller initially appeared in court March 3, 2021, with pre-trial slated for March 30.

At the request of his attorney, an extension was granted and will be held July 21 with a jury trial set for Aug. 25 through Aug. 27.

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Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.