by: Mark Becker Updated:
A Charlotte man who was driving drunk when he hit and killed a cab driver will spend almost eight years in prison.
Justin Miller pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday, 15 months after the collision that killed cab driver Paul Miller, 56. The Millers are not related.
Prosecutors said Justin Miller had a blood alcohol level of .17 -- twice the legal limit -- and was going 67 mph on Woodlawn Road when his BMW slammed into Paul Miller’s cab.
They said Justin Miller was also driving with a revoked license less than a month after he had been arrested for drunk driving in Huntersville.
Miller apologized through his attorney.
“If Mr. Miller had called a cab, Paul would have been the one who picked him up and taken him where he wanted to go,” Kelly Barrentine, a friend of Paul Miller, said.
Miller’s attorney said he had been all but abandoned by his family and was working his way through Queens University when the collision happened.
Several of his professors and friends were in court Thursday to show their support, including his adviser, Catherine Eason.
“He's had a very difficult life and that's no excuse for what he did but I do believe there's hope for him,” Eason said.