'He shot me multiple times': Suspect in Papa John's shooting sentenced to 35 years
Macon, Ga.- -On Wednesday Jacob Elijah Miller, 20, appeared in Bibb County Superior Court for a contested rule and/or probation violation hearing on a 2015 case, where Miller was indicted on felony charges of Criminal Street Gang Activity and Inciting a Riot in a Penal Institution.
Miller was also indicted in March 2017 on felony charges of Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault in connection to the December 2016 shooting of Brooklyn Rouse, a Papa John's pizza delivery driver. During Miller's contested rule hearing, Rouse took the stand and recalled the night of the shooting on Vivian Dr. in the Bloomfield neighborhood of South Macon.
“He shot me multiple times, I had to crawl to the front door,” Rouse said as she testified on the stand before the court. She went on to describe that as she approached the driveway, she stepped out of the car with pizza box in hand and said she felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck before being confronted by Miller. He reportedly approached her with a .22 caliber handgun and ordered her to the ground on her knees, while demanding money.
Rouse said she gave Miller the roughly $60 she had and he still shot her three times in the head. During his cross examination, Miller's defense attorney Alan Wheeler asked Rouse how she was able to identify Miller on the night of the robbery and shooting and she replied, “I couldn’t get his face out of my head." Rouse also told the court that Miller had a noticeable, faint tattoo in between his brows.
Miller's alleged co-conspirator Alisha Geneva Wilson, 27, also took the stand. She’s accused of aiding Miller in the robbery by calling to order the pizza to the home. Wilson told the court she was there to tell the truth. According to Wilson, she and Miller had only met a few weeks prior and would often chat via Facebook and hang out in the Sandy Springs apartments where Miller lived. The two had also engaged in a sexual relationship.
Bibb County Assistant District Attorney Neil Halvorson expressed that Wilson had not received any form of a plea agreement for her testimony in Wednesday's hearing and that anything she said under oath could not be used self incrimination.
Wilson admitted to taking part in the robbery by making the phone call and placing the order for the pizza delivery to the home on Vivian Drive. She said that everything she did was under the instruction of Miller, but chose on her own accord to use the fictitious name “Renee Jackson” when she placed the order. Wilson said they mapped out the random address, because that’s the address he gave her as they met at a Race Way gas station prior to the robbery. Wilson said she sat in the car in the front yard of her sister's home and made the call.
Wilson added that MIller instructed her that if investigators were to contact her about the shooting, to tell them that "John John," a teenage relative used her phone to make the call for the delivery. She said she knew Miller had planned to rob the pizza delivery driver but didn’t know he would use a gun. She described Miller's gun as long and black with gold trigger and said he had it in the waistband of the front of his pants on the night of the robbery.
Wilson told the court that after the robbery the two met with a third party at "the spot" referring to the apartment of a third party at the Sandy Springs apartment complex. She said Miller gave her five dollars, all in one dollar bills, and instructed her to delete any call records and text messages from her phone between Miller and the third party, due to his use of her phone prior to the robbery. Wilson added that Miller had asked her on several previous occasions to take part in helping him “get a lick," or a robbery, but she had declined to do so.
State prosecutors also presented several pages of messages and photos from Miller's Facebook under the assumed identity of “Raphael Marrero,” an alias he created. In the messages Assistant District Attorney Neil Halvorson said Miller often discussed "getting a lick."
At the close of Wednesday's hearing , Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms said he had no doubt in his mind that Miller robbed and shot Brooklyn Rouse. Rouse's father approached the court and asked for justice. Judge Simms expressed that he would do his best to see that justice was served.
Rouse also expressed that the incident has tremendously affected her life and she can’t do things that once knew how to do.
“I’m grateful to still be here,” said Rouse, who told the court that a lot of good have come out the situation for her and that she's learned to not let the actions of other people impact her. Simms added that he was proud of Brooklyn for her resilience.
Assistant District Attorney Neil Halvorson said that if it was not for Rouse's recovery, it would be a murder case because Miller intended to kill her and leave her for dead.
Based on the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, Simms found Miller guilty of violating his probation in the 2015 case. Simms revoked Miller's probation and sentenced him to the state maximum 35 years in prison for the two charges.
“You deserve more time, but that’s all I can give you,” said Simms.
When given the opportunity, Miller declined to offer any words of remorse to Rouse and her family. In the coming year, Miller will return to Bibb County for trial in the shooting of Rouse. Prosecutors say he and Wilson will be tried separately. If convicted, Miller could face life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Miller is also charged for the Dec. 22, 2016 shooting of another Papa John's delivery driver, Duncan Siror.