Claire Elaina Miller

Claire Elaina Miller, 14, who is charged with killing her sister, Helen, 19, on Feb. 22, 2021, was moved from Lancaster County Prison to the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, a female prison, on Thursday, March 4.

A preliminary hearing that had been scheduled for March 30 for the 14-year-old girl who is charged with killing her sister in the family’s Manheim Township home has been rescheduled.

Claire Miller’s preliminary hearing is now scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 16 before Manheim Township District Judge David Miller.

Miller’s attorney, Robert Beyer, said the hearing was rescheduled for logistical reasons. Rescheduling of such hearings is common.

During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must present sufficient evidence that a crime was committed and that the defendant probably is responsible and, therefore, that a jury or judge should hear the case at the county court level.

According to Manheim Township police, Miller called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. Feb. 21 and said  she had killed her sister.

When officers arrived at the Clayton Road home, they found Helen Miller, 19, in a bedroom with a pillow over her face and a knife sticking out of her neck. Helen Miller, who had cerebral palsy, had been stabbed repeatedly, an autopsy found.

Miller is charged with one count of homicide. Under Pennsylvania law, homicide is automatically treated as an adult crime. Defendants can seek to have their case moved to juvenile court, which focuses on rehabilitation and includes supervision until age 21, by showing that doing so would serve the public’s interest. 

Miller was initially being held at Lancaster County Prison, but she was moved on March 4 to the state correctional institution at Muncy, about 80 miles northwest of Lancaster in Lycoming County.

The state Department of Corrections offered to house Miller at Muncy because it offers secure, age-appropriate housing. In Lancaster, Miller had been housed in the adult women's section.

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