ASHTABULA — A grieving brother is counting on community support to keep a man behind bars convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing his sister, along with an accomplice.
Les Miller, 62, is mounting a campaign aimed at denying parole to Timothy Whitsell, who is serving a life prison sentence in the Jan. 3, 1987 murder of Miller’s younger sister, Kathleen Miller of Geneva.
His accomplice, Dean M. Prisco, who was sentenced to 10-to-25 years in prison for his part in Miller’s death, was released seven years ago.
“It was a horrible, horrible crime,” Miller said. “It’s been really hard on our mother. Kathleen was her baby.”
Kathleen Miller was 25 years old when Prisco, then 34 years old, and Whitsell, then 20, both of Ashtabula Township, kidnapped her from the Flamingo Lounge on West Avenue in Ashtabula.
The men raped and beat her, and then ran over her body with their car before leaving her for dead under the West Avenue overpass.
Miller was alive and missing one eye when the men left her at the overpass, investigators said.
She died a short time later and a Conrail employee discovered her body.
An autopsy report showed she died of head injuries.
“It was gruesome; they did terrible things to her,” Miller said. “They ruined our lives and now Whitsell is up for parole in November. He should not get out. If he gets out, he could do this to another girl.”
Ashtabula police arrested Whitsell within days after Miller’s body was discovered and charged him with murder and felonious sexual penetration, newspaper reports at the time show.
He received a life sentence and is serving his time in Lucasville.
Prisco, who entered Ohio’s prison system in 1988, was found guilty of rape and kidnapping. He served all 25 years of his sentence at the Madison Correctional Institution in London.