Judge sentences Christopher Anderson to life in prison for murdering Hannah Miller
Content warning: Some listeners may find the language and descriptions in this story disturbing.
An Oneida County judge sentenced Christopher Terrell Anderson to life in prison Tuesday for shooting and killing Hannah Miller, the mother of his child, on the side of a road near Rhinelander last summer.
Anderson pleaded guilty to the murder earlier this month, just a week before his trial was set to begin.
The felony charge of first-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory life sentence. As part of a plea deal, Anderson asked to be released with supervision after 40 years.
Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom denied that request after tearful statements from Miller’s family and friends.
“I’ve spent the last 419 days sitting in shock, disbelief, sadness and anger,” said a friend of Miller’s in a statement to the judge. “Nothing fills the hole in my chest, and nothing fills the silence.”
She described Miller as a loving mother, caring daughter and thoughtful friend.
Family and friends say Miller was on the brink of leaving an abusive relationship with Anderson when Anderson killed her.
They asked Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom to consider the irreparable pain Anderson caused in his sentencing.
Anderson’s defense attorney requested Anderson be eligible for supervised release after 40 years in prison. He argued Anderson’s independent decision to plead guilty was “a sincere attempt to say he’s sorry and to spare the family the trauma of the trial.”
Anderson himself apologized to Miller’s family and asked the judge for leniency.
“I pray every day for forgiveness from the family,” he said. “I pray that God heals their hearts. I pray that the judge and God give me a second chance at life.”
Judge Bloom, however, did not feel leniency was warranted. During his sentencing, he outlined years of text messages between Miller and Anderson that depicted a history of physical, sexual and emotional assault.
“Hannah Miller was shot to death on the side of the road. Her body was left lying in a ditch,” he said. “It wasn’t the act of a spurned lover, or a jealous man caught in a fit of passion or rage. It wasn’t the act of a despairing father overwhelmed by anguish over the thought of losing a child. These were the acts of an assassin.”
Bloom sentenced Anderson to life in prison without parole.
The man accused of helping him plan the murder, Seth Wakefield, faces a trial set to begin next month.