Man smashes wife's head in

A MAN who killed his sleeping wife by smashing her head in with a log splitter said he did it because she wanted to die but was not "strong enough to do it herself".

Police discovered the decomposing body of Tracey Lee Miller, 48, in June 2008 when they went to inform her that her husband, David Jeffrey Miller, 48, had been involved in a serious car crash just a few kilometres away from their Willdora Dr home in South Bingera.

Miller pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter on the first day of his trial in Bundaberg Supreme Court yesterday.

The court heard Miller openly admitted he had killed his partner of 22 years and claimed the woman had wanted to die rather than go back to prison on drug charges the pair were facing.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said 25 witnesses would give evidence in the trial, including friends of the Millers, medical professionals and police officers.

"Most likely on the morning of Sunday, June 8, 2008, the accused entered into the bedroom of his wife of seven years, Tracey Lee Miller, and most likely while she was asleep, killed her, striking her to the head three times with a log splitter," Mr Cummings said.

The prosecutor described the "unforgiving instrument" as a cross between a sledgehammer and an axe that weighed more than 3kg.

"He says, in effect, it is was what she wanted," Mr Cummings said.

The prosecutor said during the trial, the jury would hear how Miller suffered serious, life-threatening injuries in a car crash the day after he is believed to have killed his wife.

Mr Cummings said when a friend went to visit Miller in hospital, the defendant said, "I only wanted me and the dogs to die (in the crash)", but that in his police interview he claimed he had not meant to kill himself.

He allegedly told another visiting friend: "She didn't feel anything. Tracey had been saying let's just end this. She said a few times she wanted to end it and I thought she wouldn't be strong enough to do it herself."

Mr Cummings said the jury would hear from witnesses who said Tracey seemed to be "in good spirits" after being charged with drug possession and that, while she was facing a jail term, she seemed "optimistic" about the future.

The barrister said Miller admitted he and his wife were having problems and that she would constantly "nag" him.

"He had wound up with a woman that was nagging him, was giving him a hard time and it just became too much for him on June 8, 2008, so he killed her," Mr Cummings told the jury.

The trial, before Justice Duncan McMeekin, continues today.

Topics:  bundaberg supreme court, crime, manslaughter, murder, police



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