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Lansdowne driver found guilty in connection to deadly crash seeks work release

John Miller IV. Courtesy photo
John Miller IV, the driver jailed for a year in connection with the death of Lansdowne baby Tristan Schulz, is seeking to return to work while spending his nights in jail.

Miller's defense attorney, Steven T. Webster, confirmed to the Times-Mirror that he's petitioned for Miller to enter the work-release program should Loudoun County Sheriff's Office find him eligible. If Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman (R) finds Miller eligible, then he would return to work as a golf instructor.

Miller crashed into Tristan Schulz and his mother Mindy Schulz on Aug. 31, 2016, as Mindy Schulz was pushing her son in a stroller across a pedestrian crosswalk at the Riverside Parkway and Coton Manor Drive intersection in Lansdowne. Five-month-old Tristan was killed, and his mother sustained life altering injuries.

On Jan. 25 Loudoun Circuit Court Judge Douglas L. Fleming Jr. sentenced Miller to a year in jail and fined him $2,750 for reckless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Fleming has now signed an order allowing Miller to be considered for work release, according to Heather Williamson, spokeswoman for the Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

“This request is typical in most every case and is regularly granted,” Williamson said.

The work release or work force program is run under the discretion of the sheriff's office or jail staff who have specific criteria as to whether an individual will qualify for either program, Williamson added.

According to LCSO's website, the county's work release facility houses non-violent, minimum-security inmates soon to be released back into the community.

“The inmates at the facility pay $12 per day for staying at the facility and those in the work release program are released each day to go to and from their jobs with stringent rules and regulations. The money they make helps pay their fines, courts costs, make restitution to victims and support their family. This also eases the burden of financial support to the taxpayer,” the website reads.

A sheriff's office spokesman said the LCSO "has a long-standing policy regarding the criteria under which an inmate may qualify. For example, the sheriff’s office policy does not permit an inmate to enter the program if he or she has certain prior convictions, including homicide, robbery, rape and other Part 1 offenses."

"As Mr. Miller was convicted of reckless driving, he initially appears to be eligible to participate in the program," said Kraig Troxell of the LCSO. "However, the sheriff’s office will review the application when received, to see if any disqualifying information exists."

“I feel for the family and cannot imagine the grief and pain they have suffered since Tristan's death," Sheriff Chapman said in a prepared statement. "I am nonetheless obligated to follow lawful orders of the court and therefore must appropriately screen Mr. Miller for eligibility.”


I’m still confused as to what his profession has to do with any of this.  Please explain.

Fred, How is Miller busting rocks going to make the Schulz family feel any better? They have suffered a loss they will likely never recover from, and the guy responsible busting rocks is not going to change their situation at all, but it seems to me that you need Miller to pay that price more than they do. If Miller’s job was waiting tables, would that make you feel better? So many people seem to have more of a problem with his job, than him actually being released to do a job. This was his job..he needs to provide for his family, it’s not unprecedented that a person who has ACCIDENTALLY killed someone is allowed to work. Will he have clients? Those clients probably feel either how you do or how I do, so he will lose some clients for sure.
If you don’t think Miller will suffer for his whole lifetime, than you are wrong. The guilt will weigh heavy on him until he closes his eyes for the last time.
We’re not going to agree on this, but at least you have been respectful in the discussion and I appreciate that. Even two judges disagreed on this, so we’re not alone.

Buffacuse3 put it perfectly

He needs to play golf all day to support his family? What a joke. He’s not hurting for money and comes from a very wealthy family, as the Roman numerals at the end of his name attest to.

Bunch of angry people, some of which are regulars.  Maybe you all should do some introspection and take a look at your own life and the source of your anger.  Heartbreaking event for both the Shultz family and the Miller family, which will plaque both for the rest of their lives.  Hopefully one day both families can find some peace.

I know that some of us here may sound vindictive and un-Christian, but in fact John everything Miller has done since the incident tells us that he isn’t processing the guilt the way you suggest.  I suspect, more than anything, this is the reason for the vitriolic reaction to his potential work release. 

If he was truly guilty and overwhelmed by a sense of wanting to make things right for the Schultz family, why did he do everything possible to beat the rap?  Why stretch the case out over a year?  Why not plead guilty immediately?  Why plead no contest instead of guilty?  Why allow his lawyer to fight like heck to get him the best deal he could, and in the process prolong the case and inflate the pain for the Schultz family?  Was he well within his rights—yup.  Does that track with someone overwhelmed by grief—you tell me.

And now, the coup d grace—he asks for work release…boy, there’s some sensitivity and grief for you.  Maybe on his way to work while he’s allegedly serving his sentence, the Schultz family will see him at their local Shell station.

I don’t think I’m a perfect person—in fact, I’m sure I’m not.  ButI do think that Miller has put his own hide above any consideration of the impact on the Schultz family.  Again, well within his rights…but don’t ask me to believe that he feels the pain so deeply that his sense of guilt is punishment enough.  Everything he has done since the day he killed Tristan tells me that is flat out hooey.


I don’t even know where to start, but you calling everyone “uneducated” to start off your rambling post was classic. 

First, I stated in my post that I know I was coming from a biased angle and let all know that right up front. 

Second, my good lord knows I am far from perfect and I have sinned, but I have atoned for all of it and I have accepted my punishment.

I can assume by the personal attacks in your post that you know this man, so you need to take off your rose colored glasses and see this for what it is.  If he killed your child, my guess is you would not be so indignant to others expressing THEIR opinion.  If this were a simple unfortunate “accident” by NO fault of his own, THE MAN WOULD NOT BE IN JAIL FOR A YEAR, PERIOD!

Next, god forbid, if I were in his situation, I would expect to serve my time and likely be ruined financially.  Quite frankly, and as I stated in a post before, I do hope Tristan’s parents make him remember Tristan for the rest of his life financially through civil proceedings.

He and his family are alive Joy, Tristan is not and the mother’s life has been torn apart because of this man.

Lastly, I am not even going to dignify your statements with a response about his chosen path of a “career.”

I will yet again pray for strength for Tristan’s family when they see this man out in our community.  They are going to need it!

This guy would get to leave jail to play golf?!

Is this really happening?!

John M:  You cite the suffering, shame, and sadness of Miller’s family, but where is your concern for the family who lost their child?  Mr. Miller only has to suffer for a year. The Schulz have to suffer for a lifetime.

When Mr. Miller’s application is reviewed, it should be denied. Clearly this guy has worked to game the system and reduce his punishment at every step since he killed a child.

As it states in the article, if Miller is eligible for this program, then he would return to work as a *golf instructor*. I wouldn’t call that punishment for killing somebody. Instead he should be busting big rocks into little rocks.

Fred, the Golf instructor position was probably his job before the accident. Why should he have to pick up trash? So his family suffers too? They are already suffering extreme shame and sadness, no doubt.
He goes back to jail on weekends and he is still allowed to somewhat take care of his family.
If Miller was a good friend of yours, I bet you would be arguing for his release, saying it was an accident and he doesn’t belong in jail. I don’t know the guy at all, but I’d like to think I know the difference between a terrible accident and murder.

I agree with John M above. All the comments seem to come from “perfect” people who have never had an accident or in this case, a tragic accident. Well good for all of them. Several have stated that he should not be permitted work release to help pay back his debt because he will be playing golf all day. All these comments only show how uneducated everyone is here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion grant you that. However, please at least get some facts before you write! A golf pro does not “play golf” all day. What they do in this case is teach. They teach adults or children or anyone who signs up for and pays for golf lessons. This is the same as a tennis pro or a personal trainer or a school teacher. It is a job and a profession that folks get certified in and make money at it. It is a good profession as most of the folks commenting know. It makes no difference what John Miller’s profession is, his work release should be evaluated on the same as anyone else who is perhaps a school teacher or doctor etc. Guaranteed he will not be “playing golf” all day.
In addition someone commented regarding Mr. Miller phoning his attorney at the accident site. Again I ask get your facts correct please. Mr. Miller did not, in fact, call a lawyer but the lawyer who appeared at the accident site was a neighbor who was taking his daily walk and stepped in to help his neighbor. That is what good neighbors do, help each other.
I have to wonder about the integrity of some commenting here. It does not appear very Christian or neighborly at all. Facebook posts are going crazy about this and it is nothing more than a cry for attention. Unless you were present in the courtroom for any of this, you do not have the facts. You only have an opinion. Like I mentioned, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Maybe we need to step back here, look at this tragedy as an accident which is what it was, take what we have learned, use it the next time each of us is driving, changing the radio station, perhaps looking at our phone or whatever other activity we might be doing while driving. We all do it and you cannot tell me all of you don’t.
Do something to help society. Teach your children about these tragedies, make it a learning experience please.
Please allow the system to work properly. If Mr. Miller is deemed ready for work release, allow it and remember that he will live with this every day of his life. He is very sorry he said so in the last day of his court hearing. He did apologize unlike most of you seem to believe did not happen. He needs to make a living like the rest of us and pay his debt however is deemed proper.
Since the affected family seems to want his family to move from their neighborhood, then I suggest you allow his work release so he is able to begin paying his fines and debts. But if you continue to writie and try to stop these families from healing, you are actually hampering anyone from moving anywhere including their residents. There are two victims here and not just one. Get off this please so everyone can make an effort to heal. Sorry just had to comment this.

John M:  Jail is punishment for this guy’s mistake and he should feel every minute of his punishment from behind bars, not a golf range.

If he does qualify for a work release, it should be picking up trash along the side of the road wearing an orange jump suit. Hopefully the judge doesn’t let this guy turn his punishment into a daily vacation to the country club.

The guy made a horrible, terrible, MISTAKE that could happen to anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car. Yet, all of these people commenting who are so perfect, who have never made a single mistake in their lives, want not only him to pay, but his family too, as they want to deny him the right to make a living. Who cares what his job is, it’s his job. This man has to live with killing a child, that is more than enough punishment. Thank goodness all the people on the internet who want everyone in jail don’t have their way- we would have more jails than McDonald’s.

He should be allowed to go back to work on the condition that every penny he earns goes into a trust fund for the Schulz family.

If he wants out every day, make him work or volunteer at the pediatric ER at Inova Loudoun.  Make him go talk to drivers ed classes about what he did.  But let him out to go back to Raspberry to give golf lessons—how is that punishment for anything?

BTW…don’t know about anyone else…but if this guy walked up to give me a golf lesson, I’d say “Tristan” and walk away.

If he were a nurse, sure. A golf instructor? Fugeddaboudit.

Isn’t this a conflict of interest for mike Chapman ? Doesn’t Miller work at the same golf course where Chapman holds his campaign fun raiser golf tournaments? Seems like he will definitely get work release if that’s true.

This guy should feel the punishment of his actions. A work release should be denied.

I am saying this knowing full well that I am being biased against this man for killing a child and immediately pulling out a phone to dial up his attorney; however, he has not even spent one single month in jail and now he wants to golf, I mean work, during the day?! If eligible, at least make him clean dishes, shine other members shoes, and clean the toilets with a toothbrush at his country club.  I don’t think most inmates eligible for work release go golfing every day and call it “work.”

Matter of fact, I have some rocks he can dig out of my yard and will reimburse the county the $12/day for his stay.  If he works hard, I may even give him a few bucks to buy some chips at the commissary.

“This request is typical in most every case and is regularly granted,”

So why is this in the news?

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