by Peter Boylan – Honolulu Advertiser
Martial-arts competitor to be tried for burglary

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

A popular 25-year-old professional mixed-martial arts competitor, on probation in Atlanta for breaking a man’s nose, was ordered yesterday to stand trial in Honolulu on a charge of first-degree burglary following a December arrest.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller was arrested Dec. 17 after he allegedly kicked down the door of his ex-girlfriend’s Nu’uanu apartment and attacked her new boyfriend. He was charged with first-degree burglary, a class “B” felony. He is slated to stand trial Feb. 2 at 8:30 a.m. in O’ahu Circuit Court.

Miller faces a maximum of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted. He declined comment after his appearance yesterday. He is free on $50,000 bail.

O’ahu District Court Judge Edwin C. Nacino also denied a motion by Miller’s attorney, David Hayakawa, that would have allowed Miller to fly to Atlanta tomorrow to meet his probation officer. Miller, an Atlanta-area native, is serving five years probation in Fulton County after pleading guilty in November 2004 to felony aggravated battery stemming from a October 2003 fight.

In that case, Miller punched a man three times in the face, breaking his nose, after the man shoved a woman Miller was with.

In court, Hayakawa said there is a “very solid chance a warrant will be issued for his (Miller’s) arrest (in Atlanta),” as part of the probation revocation process.

“The only way he doesn’t show up here is if he’s in jail there,” said Hayakawa. “There is a huge difference between surrendering and having a warrant out for your arrest. He has to appear in Atlanta or everything gets a lot worse.”

Hayakawa said Miller has informed the Fulton County probation office about the arrest and is working with the Fulton County prosecutor’s office.

Nacino denied Hayakawa’s motion, saying, “we have him now” and pointing out that Miller knew he was on probation when the alleged incident in Honolulu occurred.

“I cannot believe this,” Nacino said.

Miller also faces a possible third-degree assault charge filed by the woman’s ex-boyfriend. A circuit court judge will decide whether to add the charge to the burglary offense, Hayakawa said.

“Jason sincerely regrets his actions and also the embarrassment he’s caused to his sport,” said Hayakawa, speaking outside of court. “We intend to file the appropriate motions and work with counsel in Atlanta to resolve all matters.”

Miller was scheduled to fight in the Icon Sport bout against Robby Lawler at Blaisdell Arena on Feb. 18.

Patrick Freitas, who is promoting the event, said Icon Sport is leaning toward suspending Miller and replacing him with another fighter. He declined to speculate on who might replace Miller.

Freitas said a news conference will be held at 2 p.m. today at Eastside Grill.

He described Miller as “basically a good kid” with a “good heart.”

“He could be suspended for the fight,” said Freitas, speaking after the hearing. “(The felony charge and felony conviction) is a major hang-up for us; we don’t want that image for the sport. We changed the name from Superbrawl to Icon Sport so we could get to the point where we are attracting the ‘father and 14-year-old son’ crowd. It’s tough, obviously, he was involved with some stupid stuff.”

Icon Sport has said there is no criminal clause in the five-fight, $200,000 contract Miller signed last year. The February fight would be his first under the new deal. He carries a 14-4 record as a professional fighter. Tickets for the Feb. 18 event at the Blaisdell range from $35 to $150.

If Miller takes responsibility for his crimes and accepts the consequences, Icon Sport would welcome him back “with open arms,” Freitas said.

In court yesterday, Miller’s 26-year-old ex-girlfriend testified that she had dated Miller for about a year.

On the morning of the incident, she said she and a male companion were awakened by 15 to 20 minutes of incessant knocking. The woman said Miller left her a voicemail that said, “I’m not leaving until the cops come and take me away.”

Shortly after that, Miller allegedly kicked the door down and a fight broke out between the woman’s new boyfriend and Miller. In addition to her apartment’s shattered door frame, a futon was broken and a hole opened in the living room wall during the melee, the woman testified.

The male companion testified yesterday that he “wrapped his arms around” Miller after Miller kicked in the apartment door and poised to punch him. The pair wrestled for roughly two minutes before Miller fled the apartment.