Jury convicts Flagler Beach man of killing neighbor

Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Paul Miller
Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Paul Miller

BUNNELL, Fla. – A Flagler County jury on Friday convicted a man of murder in the shooting death of his neighbor after an ongoing dispute prosecutors say was over a barking dog and rude remarks.

Paul Miller, 66, was found guilty of second-degree murder with a firearm in the March 14, 2012, killing of Dana Mulhall.

Prosecutors said the neighbors had argued over barking dogs in the past and claimed Miller had been rude to his wife. 

The jury was told Miller went inside his house to retrieve his loaded hand gun off the top of a curio, concealed it by putting it in his back waistband before going outside and shooting Mulhall five times.

"Miller's actions prove he intended to kill Mr. Mulhall. He was combative in his language, gesture and actions," said Assistant State Attorney Jaquelyn Roys. "If indeed the defendant feared his neighbor, as he claimed, he had an opportunity to call the police when he went inside the house. Instead, Miller chose to confront his neighbor with gunfire."

Miller had claimed self-defense, saying he lived in fear of his neighbor.

The jury deliberated 90 minutes before finding Miller guilty.

"Today's verdict protects the principle that disputes should be resolved non-violently," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said in a release. "The jurors' rejection of the defendant's questionable self-defense claim honors the victim's memory."

A sentencing hearing is set for June 18.  Miller faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.