Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 26, 2013

Woman charged with fraud, hiding dead body

By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — A woman charged with concealing the body of a Tazewell County man will have to wait longer for a preliminary hearing on unrelated fraud charges.

The preliminary hearing on seven charges related to credit card theft and fraud for Teea Inez Miller, 28, of Richlands, has been continued to October, according to Virginia Circuit Court records. Miller was originally indicted on two counts of credit card fraud, two counts of credit card theft, two counts of receiving goods from credit card fraud and one count of petit larceny, during the March 12 grand jury session.

While she awaits her Tazewell County hearing, Miller is scheduled to appear in a Russell County courtroom in connection with concealing the body of a Tazewell County man.

Russell County Commonwealth Attorney Brian K. Patton said both Miller and Willard Dell Cook, 35, of Cedar Bluff, each face one charge of concealment of a dead body and one charge of conspiracy to conceal a dead body in Russell County stemming from the Nov. 29, 2012 death of Timothy Wade Mitchell Sr., 54, of Cedar Bluff. Patton said both Cook and Miller will appear in August on the charges of concealment of a body and conspiracy. Cook has been charged with first-degree murder in Tazewell County for Mitchell’s death.

Assistant Tazewell County Commonwealth Attorney Melanie Menefee said cases where a defendant is charged in two jurisdictions can often complicate the judicial process.

“At this point, it is hard to tell if her fraud charges will impact Mr. Cook’s trial or her trial,” Menefee said. “A lot of times if an individual is facing many charges in two jurisdictions the Commonwealth attorneys may have to work something out. Sometimes, charges are waived if the person is facing more severe charges in another jurisdiction. We will be keeping in touching with the Russell County Commonwealth Attorney’s office to decide what is best for this case.”

Miller does not face any charges stemming from Mitchell’s death in Tazewell County. A trial date has not been set for Cook’s first-degree murder charge in Tazewell County but he is set to go to trial in Russell County in November.

Tazewell County Commonwealth’s Attorney Dennis Lee previously told the Daily Telegraph a group of individuals brought Mitchell back to his residence in Tazewell County the night he died. Lee said Mitchell suffered apparent head trauma and was deceased before an ambulance arrived to treat him.

Miller is presently incarcerated at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon, Va., while Cook is being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Tazewell.

The Virginia State Police is handling the investigation of Mitchell’s death.