Victim's family fighting to change law after police body cam video is released

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 16:01:47-04

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FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- A Fairfield family spoke out against the release of police body camera footage in the case of their family member who was fatally stabbed by her boyfriend last month. 

Despite the family's efforts, the video was made public. The family is still praising police involved, but are also vowing to work with legislators to change the law. 

Michelle Miller-Henry, 37, was violently murdered on June 22. Her sister, Mandy Hampton, and son, Jacob Miller, miss their respective sister and mother a lot.

"Every day," Hampton said. "It's gut-wrenching. I want her back so bad, every day."

The family said the release of Fairfield Officer Bryan Carnes' and Sgt. Aaron Meyer's body cam video brought it all back.

"Seeing the body cam does nobody any good," Hampton said. "There's nothing that can change, except to cause trauma and all the things that come with that."

Police responded to the condo off Gelhot Drive after Miller-Henry called 911. The video released by the police department shows Carnes attempting to kick the door in. When it doesn't work, Meyer gets a battering ram from his cruiser and they break the door in.

The video then shows the officers search the first floor, and Carnes cautiously heads up a flight of stairs. Cries for help can be heard coming from the bathroom. Carnes shouts for Miller-Henry's attacker, 37-year-old Logan Williamson, to show his hands. But the door is pushed shut. Carnes fires several times, killing Williamson.

Despite Carnes' efforts, Miller-Henry later died at a hospital. Hampton and Miller said they have nothing but praise for the officer.

"My whole family wants to thank him," Hampton said. "We heard he was having a hard time. We want to hug his back and tell him, 'Get back out there. Get back out there. You're needed. You're an awesome officer.'"

Authorities have also cleared Carnes of any wrongdoing in the shooting. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser called Carnes' actions "textbook on how the situation should be, and was, handled."

Now the family is on a crusade behind a bill in the Ohio legislature to prevent the release of body camera video in cases like this.

"The victims should have rights, and the family should be able to decide if something like that should be show," Hampton said. 

The family also plans to speak out against domestic violence, to try to prevent someone else from experiencing a tragedy like theirs. The couple had a history of domestic violence, and police had responded to their home before. Miller-Henry once told police that Williamson had tried to poison her as she slept. But her father, Raymond Miller, said "she really thought she could fix him."

They're also holding a benefit for Miller-Henry's three sons, and they've made "Shelly strong" bracelets.

"I'm going to do what I can to help my brothers and sisters out," Jacob Miller said. "That was what she would want me to do."