SLO High teacher gets 5 years of probation for making criminal threats

nwilson@thetribunenews.comAugust 9, 2012 

A 55-year-old San Luis Obispo High School teacher accused of making threats against San Luis Coastal Unified School District employees has pleaded no contest to criminal threats and received a sentence of five years’ probation Thursday.

Brian Sanford Miller was sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for his no-contest plea to two misdemeanor counts of making criminal threats.

Miller plans to resign from his employment with the school district and move to Los Angeles County, where he can better help care for his 90-year-old father.

His sentence does not require additional County Jail time, which his attorney, Kenneth Cirisan, argued against because of his fragile mental state.

As part of Judge Michael Duffy’s order, Miller must also submit to be monitored through a GPS bracelet while spending any extended period of time in San Luis Obispo County.

Miller, who has been living in Atascadero, taught in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District for 26 years.

The Probation Department assessed Miller, placed him in the “low-risk range to reoffend” and noted that he is taking prescribed medication.

Cirisan said Miller’s behavior was committed in “the throes of some mental health instability” for which he has been treated under the care of a psychologist and psychiatrist since his release from County Jail on a $100,000 bond in May.

Miller allegedly threatened his own life and the lives of three others in an email March 28 expressing anger against the district’s administration in particular.

In a separate incident on March 29, Miller allegedly went to Pacific Beach High about 8 a.m. and argued with Principal Greg Halfman, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department report.

Miller claimed he was the school’s new math teacher, but Halfman checked with a district official who confirmed that he wasn’t, police said. Halfman asked Miller several times to leave, the report states, and Miller was arrested shortly after the verbal exchange.

A restraining order in place against Miller requires him to stay at least 50 yards away from the Pacific Beach campus and the San Luis Coastal school district office.

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