Teenager implicated for evidence tampering in Nederland murder investigation

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, February 19, 2020

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Police Department has turned over a case to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office against a teenager authorities believe attempted to hide or destroy evidence in a 2019 Nederland homicide.

Police Chief Gary Porter did not provide the name of the teen, only that he was 16 at the time of the fatal shooting of Joshua Caleb Miller, 34, at Briarcliff Apartments in May. The teen is now 17 and faces charges of tampering with physical evidence.

The teen has not been arrested and the case was submitted Feb. 12. The police chief added the D.A.’s office might pass the case to the juvenile department.

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Porter said three people were involved in the killing. Jonathan Alejandro Loya, 20, of Nederland is charged with murder and remains in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility on a $250,000 bond, according to the jail roster.

Porter said no charges have been filed on the second person that was reportedly at the scene of the crime. Porter did not give a possible motive for the killing but did say it was not drug related.

Nederland police responded to Briarcliff Apartments, 1315 N. Twin City Highway in Nederland on May 29 in reference to a shooting and found the victim, Joshua Caleb Miller, deceased with a gunshot wound in the bedroom of his apartment.

Witnesses told police there had been an altercation between several males in the parking lot and one of the men wrestled a gun away from another and went to the victim’s apartment.

Witnesses further stated to police they heard a single gunshot and that the male came back downstairs.

Loya fled in a truck while the other two men fled on foot. Loya later turned himself in to police but did not make any statements to officers.

The murder weapon was found in a field of grass near the scene the following day.