Va. Lawyer Was Killed With Pipe, Witness Says

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 13, 2005

The descent of Harvard-educated lawyer Eric N. Miller -- from the Securities and Exchange Commission to a low-rent motel where he went on a week-long crack-smoking binge -- ended in August when he was smashed on the head with a metal pipe, a witness to Miller's slaying testified yesterday.

The witness, Kristin Kozak, said she and another friend continued to smoke crack as Miller lay dead on the floor of the motel room on Route 1 in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The friend, Dana E. Moro, then stole Miller's automated teller machine card to buy a sleeping bag and gasoline used to burn his body, she said.

Miller's body was found in the trunk of a rented Ford Taurus, which had been set on fire, in Southeast Washington on Aug. 31. District police began working the case as a homicide soon after.

Miller, 45, was an Alexandria native, a husband and the father of two boys. He had worked for the SEC from 1999 until May. About that time, he began staying in a series of motels with Kozak and Moro, Kozak said during a preliminary hearing yesterday in Fairfax General District Court.

About a week after Miller's body was found, Kozak said, she went to District police, who summoned Fairfax detectives.

Court records show that Fairfax investigators went to the Alexandria Motel and found evidence of blood spatters in Room 16. The police seized "several bloody items which corroborated" Kozak's story and obtained a warrant charging Moro, 46, with Miller's murder.

Kozak, 33, said that Miller and Moro began arguing that night and that Miller pushed her to the ground. Moro, she said, then "picked up a pipe and struck him."

Later, she said, Moro took Miller's ATM card from Miller's wallet and used it. According to court records, Miller's card was used at several locations in the Washington area after his death.

Kozak has not been charged with a crime. Fairfax General District Court Judge Ian M. O'Flaherty sent the case to the grand jury for possible indictment next week.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company