Kissimmee officer's widow says 'justice was served' as jury recommends death for cop killer

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — After five days of testimony, jurors in Osceola County have recommended the death penalty for the man they convicted of murdering two Kissimmee police officers in 2017.

Former Marine Everett Miller was convicted of killing Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard in September after just two hours of deliberation by the jury.

Lawyers presented their closing arguments in the penalty phase of the case Wednesday, and the jury was sent to deliberate the case around 11 a.m.


The jury decided to recommend the death penalty over recommending a life sentence for Miller.

Officer Baxter's widow, Sadia Baxter, spoke to the media following the verdict.

"I'm proud to say that justice was served," Baxter said. "My girls and I will be able to close this chapter. It is not OK to kill. It's not OK for law enforcement officers who protect and serve this community to feel like they are in danger themselves by putting on their gun and badge."

During closing arguments, prosecutors said Miller became an extremist with anti-law enforcement beliefs who planned to kill law enforcement officers. They said they believe he shot each of the officers a second time in the face to send a message.

The defense argued Miller's career in the Marines and exposure to bombings and murders led to him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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