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Carbon man who discharged gun in area of three gets probation

A Carbon County man who admitted to three counts of simple assault for negligently discharging a firearm with three people nearby was placed on probation on Monday in the county court.

Frank Nelson Miller, 41, of Summit Hill, was placed for a total of 36 months probation on the three assault counts by Judge Joseph J. Matika.

According to police, at 4:34 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2016, a woman came to the borough police station to report that she and two friends were shot at by a hunter while in a wooded area within the Summit Hill borough limits.

The victim reported that the man, later identified as Miller, shot in the group’s direction over their heads and was cursing at them.

The police report indicate a tree branch was knocked down by the shots, striking at least one of the three, causing injuries.

Miller was originally charged with 14 criminal counts.

In exchange for the plea, the district attorney’s office dropped two counts of aggravated assault, three counts each of terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person, and three summary offenses of disorderly conduct.

At the plea hearing Miller claimed two other men with him that day also fired shots.

Miller admitted he was a “hot head.” He said he was a lifetime hunter and never had anything like this happen to him. He added, “I hunt hard” claiming he never fired at the three victims. He said, “I screwed up.”

He said he is now on medication, lost his employment and is going through some rough financial times.

He also said he has surrendered all of his firearms.

Matika noted that in a presentence investigation report prepared by the adult probation office, Miller has a poor reputation among local police. He said the report indicated numerous calls to the Miller residence but also said most of them did not result in any citations being issued.

Matika said he would give Miller a chance to prove himself, but warned, if he violated the terms of the probation he would be brought back and could face jail time.

In addition to the probation, Matika ordered Miller to get both a mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations, attend and successfully complete anger management counseling, make restitution of $1,053.19, have no contact with any of the victims, render 75 hours of community service, pay court costs of about $1,000 and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation.