JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the first time, the family of a murdered convenience store owner was inside the same courtroom as the man accused of killing him.
Police say DNA links Johnie Miller to the 1974 death of Freddie Farah.
Miller, a popular street performer, was arrested in New Orleans three months ago.
This was the first of many expected hearings during this process. Miller's next court appearance, a pretrial hearing, is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Fred Farah's family said they know this will be a process that takes time, but they're thankful to see it moving forward. They see this as one step closer to justice. It’s a step that his son, Bobby Farah, has been waiting for since he was a child.
“I’m sure the process is a long process. The wheels of justice turn slow, very slow. But they do turn. I don’t know who to put a marker on time,” Farah said.
Time hasn't been on the Farah family's side. They've waited 43 years to see Johnie Miller in a courtroom. On Thursday, they got that chance at his formal arraignment.
Farah recalls how the whole family, especially his mother, was stunned when they got the news of an arrest in the case.
“She’s doing well. She’s processed a lot. It was a shock at first when it all rolled out. But now she’s the one that’s been spearheading me getting out there,” Farah said.
Farah said his mother and sister are remaining strong and positive now that the court process is going. He says they know things will take time before there is any resolution, but they are willing to wait as long as they need to.
"It's a long-time process. It's not going to end in September. It started today, I guess you could officially say. But it's going to be a long time coming," Farah said.
He added that he isn't worried by the lengthy process.
“Hey, he’s entitled to his defense. Just like anyone else would. I’m not letting that discourage me, Farah said. "We keep doing what we do. They keep doing what they do. It’s all good."
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