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Leesburg man found guilty of two lesser counts in crash that killed Lansdowne baby

John Miller IV
John Miller IV was found guilty in Loudoun County Circuit Court Tuesday on two counts in connection with the death of five-month-old Lansdowne baby Tristan Schulz.

Miller entered a no contest plea to the count of reckless driving and pleaded guilty to the count of failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Sincavage said the “no contest” plea for reckless driving was an implied confession of guilt. He went on, “the court finds you guilty of both offenses.”

Sincavage said reckless driving carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. Failure to yield to a pedestrian carries a maximum fine of no more than $250.

Five-month-old Tristan died on Aug. 31, 2016, when a car driven by Miller struck his stroller, which was being pushed by Tristan's mother, Mindy. The two were crossing the Riverside Parkway and Coton Manor Drive intersection. Miller was indicted in November 2016 on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian.

But on Sept. 5, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Sincavage granted the commonwealth's attorney's request to drop the involuntary manslaughter charge in the case against Miller, when the prosecution said the evidence did not support the charge.

Tristan Schulz's parents and supporters wearing blue ribbons were in court Tuesday. Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman (R) was not present.

The sentencing date will be set on Friday.


If you’re a pedestrian then you need to really be looking out for yourself.  A touch of paranoia regarding drivers and cars will pay off at some point.  I inadvertently left a turn signal on after making a lane change not too long ago (on Ashburn Village Blvd) and had a young boy on a bike pedal right in front of me.  It was the hardest that I have ever had to slam on my brakes.  He thought I was going to turn and then never looked back at my car.  Keep your head up and eyes and ears open - teach this to your children too.  Accidents happen and if you’re a meatbag on the receiving end of a car or truck then you’re likely done for.  Be careful, everybody. 

Also, there is no closure here.  Sad for the Shultz family but I doubt locking up the murderer would make them feel any better about the horrible loss that they are suffering through.

Money and race play a role in getting justice. Again Virginia seems to have a lot of inept Commonwealth Attorneys. Next time you vote look into who is running and not just their party affiliation.

I know there’s no effective difference between a plea of not guilty and no contest…but yet again, as he has done from the moment he struck and killed Tristan, Miller refuses to do anything to ease the burden on the Schultz family.  Plead guilty, accept full responsibility, help with the healing process—no way.  I choose not to contest the charge.  Tristan had no choice, and never will.  Any plea deal should have been conditioned on a full guilty plea—if there isn’t a plea deal, then at the very least have him do the full 12 months.

At the very least the court should have had the right to suspend this jerk’s license permanently. especially since tough guy Plowman fell flat on his face again. In any real state the charge would have been vehicular homicide and it would have stuck but Virginia lost the war 150 years ago and has learned damn little since. Glad I’m only there infrequently these days but feel sorry for and worry about other members of the family that remain.

Can we just move on from this sad and depressing story that nobody wants to reminded of? 

Come on. Do you folks really believe that the C.A. didn’t want to throw the book at this guy if the evidence were there to support it?  The evidence wasn’t there! 

I think we can all objectively agree that even the maximum sentence for the charges he is now guilty of is woefully inadequate under the circumstances.  This isn’t justice but it is the law and we are a society of laws.  I’m sure I’m like many others here, though, when I say “There but for the grace of God go I.”  This could have happened to any of us given our rampant irresponsible use of phones while driving but based on the evidence the outcome would have been the same regardless of race. 

To the Schultz family, all I can offer is the deepest condolences from one Loudouner to another. Please know that we are all praying for your peace and that for what it’s worth, Tristan’s death will not be in vain.  It has given me a new awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and I know it has raised awareness for many others. I’m confident that your sacrifice will save others and can only hope that provides some small comfort. 

To the Schultz

How do you not see a mother walking her baby in a stroller? If this had’ve been a golf ball or one of his elite students he would’ve seen it. Well I’m sure the PGA will be relieved when this is over since his website says he is a PGA professional. White elitism, money, connections and a good attorney will get you everything…including the the favor of the judge and the commonwealth’s attorney’s. God bless the family and RIP Tristan.

I totally agree. He got away with murder. He didn’t care about the two he hit. He just wanted to cover his own butt. Guess all his money and connections went a long way. How would he feel if that was his child hit. All because he was in a hurry. And really all he gets is a slap on the wrist. Gotta love our justice system.

My understanding is that he was not on his phone (texting or talking), he was not under the influence, there is no indication that he was speeding, and finally the traffic light at the intersection gave him a green light while also giving the pedestrians the walk light.  Assuming all this is true, I don’t see how they would convict him of manslaughter.

Charges sound about right for this case - describes perfectly what happened during the accident.

Shades of Ms Mars!

Has Miller ever apologized?

If you drag race into this then you’ll never get to the real problem: the class divide.

This guy got off because of money and connections, his skin color had nothing to do with it.  If he was a white guy working at Target then he’d be sitting in jail for the next 10-20 years.

Exactly “Lawman”!  Wheelin and dealin….that’s the design.  However, the racism is crystal clear.

I cannot believe this. If you remember when it happened, this wonderful person did not even go see if he could assist the lady and her child. Instead he pulled over and CALLED HIS ATTORNEY…
So you can Kill someone in the State of Virginia with your car and only get charged with Reckless Driving.
Just another example of If you have money and connections, you are much better than someone without money and connections.

Our big bad commonwealth’s attorney on TV talking tough about MS-13 hordes that are descending on us, again a backdoor racist dog whistle against Hispanic immigrants,  but, when it comes to prosecuting white men, he falls short again.  I wonder if its incompetence of design?

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