Roger L. Boyd Jr.
Roger L. Boyd Jr.
A former local law enforcement officer has been formally charged with murder.

Jay County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday formally charged Roger L. Boyd Jr., 35, Portland, with the murder of James P. Miller. Boyd had been in police custody since shortly after Miller, 49, Montpelier, was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Boyd, who previously served as K-9 officer for Jay County Sheriff’s Office and for Dunkirk Police Department, also faces a Level 3 felony charge of criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon. He is being held without bond in Jay County Jail.

A pretrial conference in the case is scheduled for Nov. 13 in Jay Circuit Court.

According to court documents, police say Boyd admitted on the scene that he shot Miller. Police say he told them the shooting was in self defense and that he believed Miller had a weapon, though police say no such weapon was found.

Portland police were called to 1215 S. Bridge St., Portland, about 1:57 a.m. Saturday to investigate a possible burglary. Dustin Mock was the first officer to arrive, finding Boyd standing at the southwest corner of the property. Boyd told the officer “my gun is on the step,” the report says.

Brittney Shewmake, Boyd’s girlfriend and the owner of the property, was inside the house with two children, ages 3 and 5. She told police that she and Boyd were downstairs smoking when they heard a noise outside and dogs barking. Boyd went upstairs and a few minutes later she heard what sounded like three gunshots, though she said she could not be sure of how many there were. She then went upstairs and outside, where Boyd told her he had to shoot someone, the documents say.

Miller’s girlfriend, Nicole L. Burke, was later found in the basement. According to the documents, she told police she was standing in the driveway after the shooting and Boyd ordered her into the house and told her to go to the basement.

Jay County prosecutor Wes Schemenaur said Tuesday that he was unsure how many times Miller had been shot. An autopsy was planned. A 9mm handgun was recovered at 1215 S. Bridge St., he said.

Miller was pronounced dead at the scene.

Indiana State Police is assisting Portland police and Jay County Prosecutor’s Office with the investigation.

In Indiana, murder carries a sentence of 45 to 65 years with an advisory sentence of 55 years.