Miller sentenced to 75 years for Mason Courthouse fire

by James Stewart

District Judge Rex Emerson began his sentencing of Nicholas Jarrett Miller with a statement of regret that Nicholas Miller had made decisions that brought the court to this point.

When it was all said and done, Judge Emerson handed down two 75-year jail sentences, one each for burning the Mason County Courthouse and another for burning a family home in Mason.

Added to the two 75-year sentences, which will all be served concurrently, Miller was also sentenced to an additional 14 years plus restitution to the owner of the pickup he stole and then drove in his high speed chase.

For the first time since the start of the trial, the courtroom had at least half of the seats filled with spectators.

The sentencing hearing began with Miller's attorney addressing the court and pleading with Judge Emerson to be lenient with respect to Miller's ongoing history of mental illness. After that, Miller himself read a prepared statement in which he apologized for his actions that evening. He recounted many events from that night in great detail, but stopped short of apologizing for actually burning the Mason Courthouse.

District Attorney Tonya Ahlschwede reminded the court of the events that transpired that night and included reiterations of evidence proving that Miller was indeed, aware of his actions.

Judge Emerson recessed the court for a brief period of time before returning with the sentence and then addressed Miller personally and urged him to take advantage of the mental health facilities within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system after he is incarcerated.