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Youth Convicted in Bar Slayings of Parents of Star of "Dallas"

March 20, 1987|Associated Press

BOULDER, Mont. — A teen-ager was convicted Thursday in the deaths of the parents of television actor Patrick Duffy, a star of "Dallas," during a holdup at the couple's bar.

The District Court jury deliberated about six hours before finding Kenneth A. Miller guilty of felony assault, robbery and causing the deaths of Terrence and Marie Duffy while committing a robbery that involved the use of physical force and violence.

However, the jury acquitted Miller on two counts of deliberate homicide, charges that he purposely and knowingly caused the deaths by shooting the Duffys with a shotgun.

Under Montana law, a person may be sentenced to death for participating in a felony, such as robbery, in which someone is killed.

Jefferson County Atty. John Connor would not say whether he would seek the death penalty. Defense lawyer Edmund Sheehy said he probably would appeal.

Judge Frank Davis, who had issued a gag order earlier, instructed jurors not to talk to the media until after the trial of Miller's co-defendant, Sean Wentz, next month.

Davis did not set a sentencing date for Miller.

During the trial, Miller blamed Wentz for the Nov. 18 shootings of the Duffys, but Wentz testified that Miller did the shooting. Wentz is also charged with deliberate homicide, robbery and assault.

The 19-year-old janitors told conflicting stories about what occurred.

Wentz testified during the nine-day trial that it was Miller's decision to rob The Lounge, the Duffys' bar. Miller took Wentz's shotgun and shot Terrence Duffy near the doorway, Wentz said.

Miller denied both shootings.

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