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Paul Miller, Who Shot and Killed His Neighbor, Makes Bail, Dismaying Victim’s Family

| May 30, 2012

Paul Miller in court on May 2, when he was asking for help paying some of the bills related to his case. (© FlaglerLive)

Paul Miller, the 65-year-old Flagler Beach resident who shot and killed neighbor Dana Mulhall on March 14 over Miller’s barking dogs, posted $300,000 bond on Wednesday and was released, to the consternation of Mulhall’s family and friends. Cindy Welborn, Mulhall’s companion, had one reaction: “What the hell is going on?”

Miller shot Mulhall five times across a fence separating the two neighbors late that day. Four of the shots were fired at Mulhall as Mulhall was running away. All five shots struck Mulhall, who died at the scene. Miller claims Mulhall had been threatening, and had threatened his wife several months before.

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Miller lives at 1340 South Flagler Avenue in Flagler Beach with his wife Derrol in a 1,200-square-foot house they bought in 2010 for $130,000. He lives on Social Security disability. Six weeks ago at a hearing before Flagler County Circuit Court Judge Raul Zambrano, Miller’s family, including his daughter–who lives in Phoenix–his wife and his attorneys asked the judge for a “reasonable” bond of $50,000 to $100,000. Michelle Miller, his daughter, pleaded that her father was unwell in jail, that he was not a flight risk, and that the family had few means to gather a large bond.

Zambrano, who could have denied bail entirely, set the amount at $300,000, shocking Michelle Miller, who left the courtroom in tears.

On May 2, Miller was back in court with his Daytona Beach attorney, Douglas Williams, who filed a motion requesting financial help for Miller under a special provision that allows the court to have some costs borne by taxpayers. “They won’t pay my cost at all,” Williams, whose fees are being paid by a family member, said. “They’ll pay for things like depositions, transcripts, experts, maybe a private investigator, things of that nature.” It’s not clear whether the judge granted that motion. (A call to Douglas was not returned before this story was first posted.)

To bail Miller out, the family had to have $30,000 in cash and the rest of the bond in collateral. Until Tuesday, Miller shared a cell at the county jail with William Carson Merrill, the 33-year-old Palm Coast resident of Covington Lane who, in February, trained an AK-47 on his wife in the bathroom of their home, while the couple’s 3-year-old daughter was taking a bath and, thinking the rife was not loaded, pulled the trigger, killing his wife. Merrill faces a manslaughter charge, a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge, and $200,000 bond. The two men shared a cell because space is limited at the jail, and men accused of murder or manslaughter are isolated from the rest of the population.

On a recent walk-through in late morning through the jail, both men were in their cell, on their bunks, appearing to be napping or sleeping, with little in the cell to keep them occupied. Merrill’s next pre-trial hearing is in August. For Miller, depositions in the case may begin in July, his attorney said, and the trial may be held next year.

At a previous hearing, the possibility of using Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was raised in Miller’s defense. Williams would not elaborate on that possibility when asked about it on May 2. “That issue is going to come up later down the road and there’ll be appropriate motions filed if that is indeed the defense,” he said.

Memories of Mulhall at his Maine service. Click on the image for larger view.

On May 19, a memorial service was held for Mulhall in Jackman, a small town deep in Maine’s north, near the Canadian border. “He had a lot of friends there and his memory is not forgotten,” Welborn, of Flagler Beach, said, remembering his love of hunting in the Maine woods, of his fishing trips to Alaska, and of course his fishing in Flagler Beach. On July 4, Welborn will place some of Mulhall’s ashes at his favorite fishing spot at 14th Street South in Flagler Beach.

“The service in Maine was absolutely gorgeous,” she said. “It was short, not 10 minutes long, the family was on the front rows, along with myself, I asked to sit with the parents. It was a gorgeous day. It was 80 degrees. His family is Catholic, so we had a Catholic priest.” About 150 people turned up at the American legion hall, with a display of a lot of Dana’s things, including mementos from his favorite teams (the Yankees, the Celtics, the Cowboys) and his photographs. The restaurant across the street catered the occasion.

“That’s everybody’s constitutional right to be able to be bonded out of jail,” Welborn said, “but how is somebody able to shoot somebody five times, have no remorse whatsoever, and even before trial, have a free life? As far as feeling sorry for his family, I don’t. They get to visit. I don’t. My grandson is only 7 years old, and Dana showed him everything that a young man his age should start to learn.” Welborn’s grandson had just lost his grandmother. His question to her has been: “Why does everybody I love have to die?”

Welborn continued, “the thought that he’s out there, that he’ll be watching the same fireworks that I’ll be watching in Flagler Beach, is heartbreaking.”

dana mulhall

Click on the image for larger view. (© Mulhall family)

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42 Responses for “Paul Miller, Who Shot and Killed His Neighbor, Makes Bail, Dismaying Victim’s Family”

  1. The Truth says:

    Such a sad story all together. Anger can be an ugly thing. Let’s hope justice is served.

  2. tulip says:

    I am so sick and tired of so much leniency and consideration given to a criminal. No wonder people aren’t afraid to kill other people–the criminal seems to have more rights than the victim who, most of time has had his or her life and rights killed and buried. Our “self defense” needs to be tightened up and attorneys not be allowed to wiggle around it with their legalese chatter.

    Thia Miller guy may be in ill health–too bad–bring his meds and have the jail administer them.

    • Paul is not a criminal, he is in the process of our systems. It is not guilty because you think so or guilty before innocent, it is simply innocent before proven guilty. He has the right to bond and his family worked very hard to excercise that right.

      • Yup says:

        Yeah, and our “system” was developed and written over a hundred years ago and is as outdated as the thinking that someone can be “innocent” until proven guilty, when he IS GUILTY of the crime he commited (duh…he called 911 and said he shot him) What idiocracy!!!

        • Johnny Taxpayer says:

          Yeah! We should just do away with the constitution and the judge and jury system and lock up everyone as soon as they’re accused of a crime and throw away the key. I mean, we wouldn’t accuse them if they weren’t actually guilty right?

          Maybe instead of judges and juries we should let angry mobs determine who’s guilty or not guilty on the town square? And then why waste money on jails, when we could just stone them to death on the spot.

        • But what if the circumstances create a situation where he is actually innocent of the charges against him based on a sequence of events that will come out in trial?

          How do we update these laws to make the masses happy and without trampling on the basic freedoms set forth by our fore fathers?

    • Brandy says:

      Yep he’s out, love you papaw

  3. Eileen G. Miller says:

    The man kills his neighbor cause of the dog and he gets out of jail…???? Just not right…!!

    • Eileen:

      Do you and the rest of the community actually think that this happened because of a dog? Do you accept everything that you read as fact. Please understand that a headline reading Man Kills Neighbor over Dog is just that. It’s a headline. It isn’t that simple, if you give it time, most reasonable people will understand that some things happened that day that made it a horrible day for a lot of people.

      Let the trial happen, then make your judgement. Things will come to light in the trial to make it very clear that Miller didn’t just shoot his neighbor because he wanted to. Things happened, things were said and Miller reacted the way he did. Let the jury figure it all out.

      • SoSad says:


        I wonder if you would be so understanding if Dana were your family member, rather than Mr. Miller.
        Mr. Miller is still breathing.

        Put yourself on the other side of the fence for a moment (so to speak) and think of how you would feel if your family member were shot, not once but FIVE times. Mostly in his back. The outrageousness of that is unbearable for our family to comprehend no matter what led up to it. Its inexcusable. No matter what comes out at trial, shooting once not acceptable but ok, the next 4 kill shots made this a cold blooded murder.
        Even if Mr. Miller “snapped” there is no one who can say that it will never happen again. I know he is not allowed weapons but a shovel can be a weapon, a hammer, a branch, if he snaps, he doesn’t need to be holding a firearm to do damage. He is unsafe in the community and needs to be either institutionalized to get help or in jail.
        No matter what may come out at trial Danny, I’m sorry, there is no justifying 5 shots.

  4. Angela Smith says:

    This is NOT someone I want to call “neighbor” ( he lives just around the damn corner, he’s obviously unstable, and he’s ARMED!)

    • Angela:

      I respectfully disagree with your assessment that he is obviously unstable. In addition, according to the law in Florida, he is no longer allowed to have the right to bear arms until his trial is completed. It depends on the outcome of that trial as to what rights Mr. Miller will have from that point forward.

      I once didn’t like a neighbor very much, I moved from that neighborhood and never saw him again.

    • anonymous says:

      no he is not armed , no weapons are allowed, he is not a threat to anyone

  5. Kendall Clark-StJacques says:

    I agree with Eileen.

  6. Lynda Wilson says:

    That is so messed up!!!!

  7. Mario DiGirolamo says:

    This is the worst State to live in if you want protection against nut jobs like this. This guy should not have been allowed to post bond. He should be locked up for life. These insane guns laws must be changed! None of us are safe!!

    • xenith says:

      Eh? This really shouldn’t be about gun laws at all.

      Remember that when all the citizens that have legal guns are unable to have them,
      the criminals that buy and possess them by any means (black market, etc) will.

      Gun laws don’t stop criminals.

    • Mario:

      It is our right as Americans to bear arms. It is also the courts obligation under the current laws in Florida to set a bond. It was Mr. Millers’ right to post that bond. That is how the judicial system currently works. If you or anybody else doesn’t like those laws, you have the right (and some say obligation) to vote those people you disagree with out of office, and replace them with people who share your same points of views. Again, it is a basic right we have because of our constitution and our bill of rights.

      If you disagree with the “insane” gun laws, perhaps you can find a candidate that supports your views and would make owning a gun in Florida illegal. I doubt you would find one that could pull that off though because we have the right to bear arms.

      Here is a piece of trivia for you sir….England is a country that doesn’t allow it’s citizens and residents to bear arms.

      If you wait until the trial you will understand that this issue and these circumstances are not exactly being reported by the media.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That takes the cake also that we the tax payers of Flagler Beach now have to pay for this miserable old mans defense. I want my money to go to the prosecution to put this murderer away.
    The question I have is he put 30,000 up for bail and 270,000 up in colateral to meet his bond, my question is what happens if he dies before he goes to trial, is the family out the whole 300,000 or just the 30,000 or well hell maybe they will get there money back.
    This is ridiculous that they let that killer out of jail. does not matter that he is a sick old man at least he can be sick Dana is still dead.
    Citizens of Flagler Beach beware there is a killer walking the streets again.

    • anonymous says:

      fired the shots that killed dana yes, but let the trial play out. no one on this chat knows the whole story.

      • SoSad says:

        You obviously know “the whole story” so please, feel free to share. Make people feel better that there was a reason for this. Help us to understand what makes a “perfectly harmless, elderly, ill man” shoot at someone so many times. “Slow, methodical shots.” Intentional shots. When the man is “crawling away” from him. Please help me understand. Help Dana’s family to understand. Give us your all knowing insight so that we may find peace…as you obviously have. The police reports are quite clear. The 911 call was quite clear. Fill us in on what justified this response from this “poor helpless man” who felt threatened by a man he had just shot and was crawling away.
        Tell us what Dana did to harm this man and was he still doing it after the first shot? The second? The third? AND the fourth? My my.

  9. John Smith says:

    This is a joke that this killer has been released from jail. Citizens of Flagler Beach beware that there is a killer walking among us on South Flagler.
    It does NOT matter that he is a sick old man sitting in jail atleast he can be sick Dana is still DEAD,MURDERED by this killer.

  10. rickg says:

    Maybe the problem here is that a person with a mental issue was allowed to possess a firearm. I know, heaven forbid we make a dent in the 2nd Amendment…. We sure have dented the 1st and 4th without any concern. But here we have a perfect example on why firearms need to be at least controlled.

    • Linda H. says:

      Firearms ARE controlled. Take a good look at the current laws. They don’t do much good if they are not enforced.

      We have become a society that does not enforce laws.

  11. just a thought says:

    To Mario. What gun laws are you referring to? The stand your ground law? Just because he says he will use it means nothing. If the state attorny thought the law applied he would never had been charged. A jury will decide if it applies and therefor justifiable. If not for the law he would say it was self defense and still go trial. So where is the difference?

  12. palmcoaster says:

    Sorry but I do not agree with Judge Zambrano and this is the second time. First was his lobby for building a new jail. How come is that we vote these constitutional officers to serve us and they turn against the very community that elected them? I am just glad I do not reside anywhere near this killer.
    Where the 30,000 for his bail came from… NRA? Why my hard earned taxes can be wasted on the defense of a criminal in Florida..?

  13. happening now says:

    Dana was liked by everyone who knew him, and the act of shooting him was senseless. And here is my point. Older generation commit crimes from desperation, loss of spouse, money, job, etc. Once convicted of a felony, they are transferred to a elder facility as they need medications, etc. And protection. Then it is on the tax payers dime..If this was a homeless person, there would be no bail, and probably no life. Thats the way it is.

  14. Danny Krausnick says:

    I know I don’t have the popular position on this issue but I am confused on a couple of issues.

    Do most people here actually believe that all people accused of a crime involving death get no bail because they must be guilty? Or, is this just an attitude for Paul Miller?

    The second thing I am confused about is, am I being censured because of my opinion. It appears that those with the popular opinion are having their posts approved through a moderation process that have happened many hours after mine.

    Just wondering.

    [Your comments are not being held back because of your opinions. But when you address a commenter by using a phrase like this: “As for the crap that spews from you,” your comment will be held back. When you tell a commenter to move, your comment will be held back. When you make allegations about an individual’s blood-alcohol content without showing documentation, your comment will be held back. Stick to the issues. Don’t attack commenters. Don’t be rude. Read the comment policy. Thanks.FL]

  15. Vonda says:

    I am SO sorry Dana, Auntie Della, Uncle Doug, Michael, Karen and Cindy. None of you deserve to get this news. My heart is breaking for you all. It makes me sick to think of this inhumane “thing” not rotting in a jailcell.

  16. Vonda says:

    And Danny, there is no presumption of innocense in this case. He ADMITTED what he did in the 911 call and to the police. Why? Because he is sick enough to beleive that he could shoot a man FIVE times and get away with it. There should be no bail. He doesn’t belong anywhere near another living soul. I pray Dana’s face haunts him every day. I pray he gets counceling and someday realizes the hell he has put my family through and suffers for it every minute. I have no ill will towards his family but…what if this had happened to HIS daughter. Dana had parents, a sister, a brother, nephews, a neice, MANY aunts, uncles and cousins. Not to mention friends. All gathered together to mourn him just a week and a half ago in Maine. We should be able to have peace now. But no, then comes the news that this man is free. No, NO presumption of innocense and there should be NO bail.

  17. Cindy Welborn says:

    To see Dana’s life and his family, send a friend request to Dana Mulhall ‘s facebook page. All we are doing is thinking about the man who murdered my loved one. Stop and take a look at Dana’s life and what the rest of it could have been!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, most of us are full of hate. Our family has been through enough but knowing that theres more to come!!!!!!!!! Let the trial begin!!!!!!

  18. freepops says:

    so this guy that murder someone is out on bond and my father is in jail with no bond. That is so stupid so yall let him out so he can murder someone else and yall say that my father is a threat to the community now come on this doesnt make sense. The Flagler County Court is mess the hell up

  19. Von says:

    Admitted he shot and killed Dana as heard here on the 911 call. Shot in the back four times, give me a break. Miller did not deserve to receive bond. I believe in our right to bare arms, I believe in our constitution but I also believe that when you admit that you shot and killed an unarmed man, in the back no less, on his own property you should be in an institution being monitored and not walking the streets living your happy little life. Innocent until proven guilty, yes. He admitted he was guilty and furthermore I believe premeditated should fall in to play here as well after listening to his 911 call.

  20. dj says:

    i knew dana only a short while…everybody should just calm down and think about dana’s family and friends…we can go over this over and over and everybody has an opinion…did dana deserve to be killed?no….was dana shot 5 times?yes..was he shot in the back 4 times?yes… while crawling?yes….these are stated facts…the jury will hear these stated matter the history with dana and miller, the facts speak volumes…it is not for us to judge whether miller should be out on bond or not….people say miller is free..this is not so…yes he is out of jail…but he is a lonely ol man with no remorse…this man has already been judged by the almighty…he is out but hes not living high on the hog…he is a haunted man period…let dana’s friends and family remember dana for who he was,for what he meant to those who knew him..the good times dana had,the lives he touched….miller’s family will remember miller as a coward forever…a man who killed someone….dana’s family and friends wil be proud to have known dana….what is there to be proud of on miller’s side of the coin?miller has ruined 2 families forever…yes dana is gone…but not forgotten nor will he ever be forgotten…the jury will put miller where he belongs and miller will never be a free man…period…til the day he dies he will never be free…just my opinion…i choose to keep my anger in coz i cant control the system…but the system does work and it will work on the side of dana…his family….his friends…..his memory…..i have lost many friends to sensless violence and to this day i think about them and miss them,but not once do i think about the guilty….for their souls are already dead and being alive to know this is the greatest punishment of all….miller’s soul is already dead and you mark my words…this man will never know peace in his heart again…nor will his family have peace in theirs….i am at peace for i had the chance to make and have another friend no matter how short…..but i will always remember dana and he wil be in my heart forever along with my other friends who were taken way to early…but i know dana and my friends are at peace…we should be thankful that we knew dana and we had time with dana for in the end we will all be united….there will be no peace for miller for his family has to live with the horror of what this man did…period….miller will die a coward…dana will live as one of god’s angels….which would you rather be remembered for?thank you

    • mez says:

      Wait a second. The guy with the barking dogs killed the neighbor who objected to it?
      This is why I decline to speak to my new neighbor whose dog barks from before dawn till late into the night. People so callous as to let their dogs disturb the peace of their neighbors, when a little time on a bark collar (inexpensive nowdays) would stop the problem, put their dogs above being a good neighbor.
      Maybe he should have just shot Miller’s dogs, everyone would be a lot better off.

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