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Wakefield sentenced to 5 and a half years in prison for role in Hannah Miller’s murder

Seth Wakefield is escorted into an Oneida County Courtroom for his preliminary hearing Monday morning.
Katie Thoresen
Seth Wakefield is escorted into an Oneida County Courtroom for a previous hearing.

The man who helped Christopher Anderson plan the murder of Hannah Miller will spend five and a half years in prison.

Seth Wakefield pleaded no contest in Oneida County Court Tuesday.

Last summer, Hannah Miller was found shot to death on the side of the road.

She was killed by Christopher Anderson, the man she had previously been in a relationship and a child with.

Anderson will spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes. But even after his sentencing, a larger question remains for family and friends of Miller.

It’s one that came up often in Seth Wakefield’s sentencing hearing and was first posed by Miller’s father during his statement at the sentencing, “Would Hannah Miller still be alive if Wakefield had spoken up?”

“June 30th of last year was your last and final chance to do the right thing, anything. You were with him, he told you what he was going to do, he showed you the gun, and he walked out without you giving one shit,” said Craig Miller.

According to his own testimony given to police after Miller’s death, Wakefield knew Anderson wanted to kill Miller and her family. He only succeeded in killing Miller.

He was not present for Miller’s death, but Wakefield helped plan with Anderson and scouted her apartment for him even though Wakefield and Miller never knew each other.

Wakefield was prepared to testify to this at Anderson’s trail.

He made a deal with District Attorney Michael Schiek. In exchange for his testimony, the 1st Degree Intentional Homicide as party to a crime charge would be reduced to 2nd Degree Reckless Homicide as party to a crime. Schiek would recommend an 8-year sentence with 18 months in prison and the rest on extended supervision.

Despite, Anderson pleading guilty and not going to trial. That was still the deal that came before Judge Michael Bloom in Oneida County Court Tuesday.

Wakefield’s attorney argued he’s not a threat to society. That he has a long list of mental illnesses that impacted his judgement.

Bloom agrees that Wakefield is not a threat to society and doesn’t believe he’d be involved in something like this again in the future, but Bloom also believes Wakefield has Miller’s “blood on his hands” as Miller’s father said during his statement.

“There needs to be a sentence imposed in this case that recognizes the distinctions between Wakefield and Mr. Anderson. The nature of Mr. Wakefield’s own situation standing alone in light of history, medically, in the community, and relative to mental health. But that also makes it clear, even for someone like Mr. Wakefield, it wasn’t too much to ask to have taken some action to short circuit was Anderson was doing,” said Bloom.

Bloom sentenced Wakefield to 12 years with five and half years in prison and six and half years extended supervision.

Wakefield will get credit for the 400-plus days he’s already been in jail.

As part of the sentence Wakefield also needs to seek mental health treatment and take medication as prescribed.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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