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Police captain, 911 caller allowed to testify in upcoming Oneida County murder trial

Christopher Terrell Anderson appeared in Oneida County Circuit Court Friday for a motion hearing ahead of his jury trial in August.
Erin Gottsacker
Christopher Terrell Anderson appeared in Oneida County Circuit Court Friday for a motion hearing ahead of his jury trial in August.

As the trial for the man accused of killing a Rhinelander woman last summer quickly approaches, an Oneida County Circuit Court judge is deciding what evidence will be permitted in the trial.

Oneida County Sheriff Captain Terri Hook and the woman who called 911 after finding Hannah Miller’s body on the side of the road last summer both testified in Oneida County Circuit Court Friday.

They recounted their memories of the day Miller was killed.

The 911 caller was on her way to Crandon with her husband that day. She remembers seeing a car in the middle of the road with its doors wide open.

“There were people standing on the opposite side of the road in the tree line,” she recounts. “It was like they were looking at something in the woods and even had a camera out. It looked like they were taking a picture.”

Her husband forgot his wallet, so the couple turned around. When they returned to that same spot, the car was gone.

“When we got to that point where we had been before, as we were driving past, I said, ‘oh my god, stop, there’s somebody lying in the ditch,’” she said.

That’s when the couple called 911. Police, including Captain Hook, arrived on the scene shortly after.

They identified the woman who was shot as Hannah Miller and started searching for the father of her child – Christopher Anderson.

Seeking help from the public, the police quickly posted Anderson’s photo on Facebook.

The 911 caller saw that photo and when police questioned her again later in the day, she identified the person in the photo as the man she had seen standing with Miller earlier.

Anderson’s defense attorney, Scott Franklin Anderson, argued this evidence should be suppressed because the 911 caller was never shown a lineup of possible perpetrators.

“The procedure that Captain Hook testified about was impermissibly suggestive,” he said. “It’s better practice for law enforcement to show Facebook photos for more than one African American male.”

Judge Michael Bloom denied the motion. He said there was no evidence to suggest law enforcement pressured the woman into identifying Christopher Anderson.

The ruling means testimony from the 911 caller and Captain Hook can be included when the case goes to jury trial the week of August 15.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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