Details Emerge in Butler County Homicide Investigation; Two Charged With Hindering Apprehension

| March 22, 2019

BUTLER CO., Pa. (EYT) – Additional details of a recent homicide in Butler County have come to light following the arrest of the murder suspect in Franklin on Thursday afternoon and charges filed against two others for hindering his apprehension.

Court documents indicate the Butler-based State Police filed one first-degree felony charge of criminal homicide against 19-year-old Alec Daniel Miller, of Butler, on Thursday, March 21.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Trooper Rottman, of the Butler-based State Police, around 7:13 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, the Butler-based State Police received a phone call advising of a deceased male at a residence located on Davis Road in Oakland Township, Butler County. Police were dispatched to the location at 7:15 a.m. and the deceased male was identified as Maximillian W. Halterman, the sole resident of the home.

Interviews at the Scene

Around 7:30 a.m., Trooper Rotterman spoke to the victim’s sister who reported that prior to arriving at the scene, she received a phone call from a known female who informed her that a man who goes by the name “Shooter” had shot her brother, Max Halterman. The woman told the victim’s sister she needed to go check on her brother.

Around 8:00 a.m, Trooper Rotterman spoke to a known male who reported speaking to the same known female who called the victim’s sister. The known male reported the female said that Alec Miller had shot Max Halterman. The man stated he is familiar with Miller and noted Miller also goes by the name “Shooter” and lives on Davis Road.

Interviews at Miller’s Residence

The troopers responded to Miller’s address and contacted a known female resident there. According to the complaint, the female identified herself as Miller’s grandmother and related that on Tuesday, March 19, around 7:00 p.m., Miller took her silver Chevy Silverado truck without her permission, and at approximately 10:00 p.m., when Miller had failed to return her truck, she called the State Police to report it stolen.

According to the complaint, the woman reported that on Wednesday, March 20, around 1:00 a.m., she received a phone call from Lamaria Franklin, Miller’s girlfriend, to inform her that her Miller had left her truck at the Greenview apartments in Butler. The woman said her husband then went and retrieved the truck, in which he found Miller’s cell phone, which he brought back to the residence and placed in Miller’s bedroom.

The complaint notes that Miller’s juvenile brother was also interviewed and confirmed that Miller had taken the truck without permission on Tuesday evening. He also related that his Savage 7mm-08 rifle was missing from the family’s gun cabinet.

According to the complaint, the detached garage at Halterman’s residence has exterior cameras which point in the direction of the residence, and video footage showed a truck matching the Silverado Miller was using arrive at Halterman’s residence around 7:40 p.m. The video shows a male exit the truck with a long gun and enter the residence, then exit and enter the residence several more times before rummaging through the victim’s vehicles, which were parked outside in the driveway, and then flee the scene in the truck approximately 24 minutes later, according to the complaint.

Interviews With Miller’s Confidants

On Wednesday, March 20, Robbie Lee Dunbar Jr. was interviewed at the Butler-based State Police barracks. According to the complaint, Dunbar related that he is friends with Miller and was contacted by Miller by phone on Tuesday, March 19.

The complaint notes a screenshot of text messages sent by Alec Miller read as follows:

Miller (9:41 p.m.): “I went to Max house and smoked him”
Dunbar (9:43 p.m.): “what you mean smoked? He gone?”
Miller (9:44 p.m.): “yea I shot him in the neck and the head”

According to the complaint, on Wednesday, March 20, the Chevy Silverado operated by Miller was towed to the Butler-based State Police barracks and a search warrant was obtained. The complaint notes the search yielded a black Savage 7mm-08 long rifle with one spent casing in the chamber.

An autopsy was performed on Halterman at the Bulter County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday, March 20. According to the complaint, the autopsy revealed that Halterman was shot two times and the shots impacted his neck and head.

Based on the investigation, a warrant was issued for Miller’s arrest.

Miller’s Arrest

According to a representative of the Franklin Police Department, Miller was taken into custody in Franklin on Thursday, March 21, in a joint effort involving the Franklin Police Department and the Franklin-based State Police.

Sources say the arrest was made around 3:00 p.m. at a location along Grant Street.

Two Charged With Hindering Apprehension

According to a criminal complaint, after police interviewed Franklin and Dunbar, they learned that Miller had called Dunbar at approximately 2:00 a.m. for a ride from a residence on Bessmer Avenue in Lyndora, Butler County, and Dunbar then transported Miller and Franklin to an address on Jefferson Street in Butler.

The complaint notes that Dunbar admitted to having known of the homicide prior to transporting Miller and Franklin.

According to the complaint, Dunbar transported Miller to the Jefferson Street address in order to conceal him and prevent his apprehension and while being interviewed, Dunbar misled and lied about his knowledge of Miller’s whereabouts.

The complaint notes that Franklin was interviewed around 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, and said she had contact with Miller after the homicide from 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, until approximately 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, but stated she had no idea about the homicide even after finding a spent casing in the front seat of the vehicle and observing Miller’s odd behavior.

According to the complaint, Franklin stated she broke contact with Miller around 6:00 a.m. after getting into an argument over another girl and said she hadn’t spoken to Miller since.

The complaint notes that police discovered video evidence from a convenience store in Venango County of Franklin with Miller around 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, after the time Franklin said they had parted ways, which showed that Franklin lied about knowing about Miller’s whereabouts and provided him with transportation so he could avoid apprehension and arrest.

Based on the investigation, Lamaria Franklin and Robbie Dunbar were both arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Lewis E. Stoughton at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

The each face one third-degree felony count of hindering apprehension/prosecution – providing aid.

Both were lodged in the Butler County Jail pending $25,000.00 monetary bail.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, with Judge Stoughton presiding.

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