County of Siskiyou Office of the District Attorney
J. Kirk Andrus, District Attorney
Yreka. On April 4, 2023, William Isaac Miller, 32, a transient in the Yreka area, was sentenced for assaulting several people with a knife in April of 2021. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Theo Balboni.
On April 23, 2021, the defendant harassed and threatened individuals behind the old J.C. Penny building in Yreka. The parties did not know one another. Some of the victims were living in the area in their vehicles. When the defendant pulled out a knife and began to chase them they called the Yreka Police Department. Officers fortunately responded quickly, as Miller was then threatening another person in another vehicle. Miller had approached that vehicle, produced his knife, threatened the victim’s life, and pounded hard on the window. Officers arrived at that time and took Miller into custody.
The defendant had been previously convicted of crimes in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina, including arson in two different states. The defendant applied to the Siskiyou County Superior Court to be diverted out of the criminal justice system on Mental Health Diversion but was denied. Though Miller was found to have a qualifying mental disorder he was denied because alcohol was the primary factor in the crimes rather than the disorder. Furthermore, the combination of his extensive criminality and his personal circumstances were found to be such that no suitable program would accept him or could be tailored to his success under the circumstances.
On February 14, 2023, Miller pled no contest to the 4 felony charges and admitted a prior strike offense. On April 4, 2023, the defendant was sentenced to 18 years and 4 months in state prison. In exchange for this sentence, he agreed to waive all 691 days of custody credits that he had accrued in the Siskiyou County Jail since the offense.
District Attorney Kirk Andrus noted that, “mental illness is a significant factor in many criminal cases. In recent years California has required that the mentally ill who commit crimes receive treatment rather than incarceration. But violently dangerous conduct with insufficient programming is the exception. We acknowledge the great challenges for those who suffer with mental illness, and we appreciate the opportunity to assist where possible, but in a case such as this we are primarily grateful that nobody was injured or killed at such a time as when mental illness and violence intersect.”
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