Family of Kissimmee officer killed in 2017 testifies in sentencing hearing for convicted killer

OSCEOLA COUNTY, FLA. — Monday was an emotional day in court in the double murder case of a man convicted of killing two Kissimmee police officers in 2017.

Everet Miller was convicted two years ago of the murders of Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard.

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The jury in the case has recommended the death penalty, but Miller is still awaiting sentencing.

Baxter’s sister and wife took the stand on Monday and talked about the impact the murders have had on their lives. That was followed by defense calling witnesses trying to save Miller from the death penalty.

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“One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life is forgive someone who is not sorry for their actions,” Baxter’s widow Sadia Baxter said.

She testified about the loss and how she had to give up her full-time law enforcement career and how their daughters have missed out on so much already.

“All the milestones my girls experienced without their daddy, first words, first steps, first day of school, bedtime stories,” she said.

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For the first time, we also heard from officer baxter’s sister Mia Brown.

“I am mentally and physically exhausted from no sleep, from the depression… from the anxiety from the trauma of losing my brother to murder,” Brown said.

The hearing was also a chance for defense to present testimony and evidence to try to spare Miller from the death penalty.

The defense called military experts and those who served with Miller to talk about his honorable career—and about what they went through together.

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They also testified about Miller’s apparent changing behavior leading up to the murders.

The defense also called an expert on religion to testify she didn’t believe Miller was a sovereign citizen.

But it was the victims’ family testimony that appeared to even have Everett Miller wiping back tears.

“My daughters ask me why their daddy was killed,” Baxter said. “This is a question only Everett Miller can answer. Why?”

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.