By: Richard L. Smith
Michele Miller, an Assistant Prosecutor with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, has been awarded the Outstanding Victim Advocacy in a Single Case award by the New Jersey County Prosecutors Association (CPANJ).This prestigious recognition was presented during CPANJ's recent conference in Atlantic City by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin.
Miller was acknowledged for her exceptional role in prosecuting one of the most significant cases in her 23-year career.
She led the trial against Montclair lawyer James Ray, who was charged with the murder of Angela Bledsoe, his live-in girlfriend and mother of his daughter.
The case gained considerable attention as Ray, after committing the murder, fled to Cuba. However, he was captured by Cuban authorities and extradited back to the United States.
The trial, which lasted six weeks, culminated in a three-hour jury deliberation, resulting in Ray's conviction for murder. The verdict brought closure to Bledsoe's family, who had been waiting nearly five years for the trial.
Angela's father, Ray Bledsoe, expressed his gratitude towards Miller for her dedication and skillful handling of the case, which provided solace to the family.
In her response to the award, Miller expressed her deep sense of honor in representing the Bledsoe family and helping them achieve justice for Angela.
She emphasized the profound calling of advocating on behalf of victims and their families.
This accolade adds to Miller's list of recognitions in her career. In April 2015, she received the Gladiator Award for her prosecutorial skills, highlighting her longstanding commitment to serving victims of crime.
Attorney General Platkin's presentation of the award to Miller underlines the critical work done daily in the 21 county prosecutor's offices across New Jersey, ensuring justice for victims and holding perpetrators accountable.