A transient accused of roughing up a World War II veteran and robbing him inside his Fresno home pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges of home-invasion robbery, residential burglary and elder abuse.
Danny Eric Miller, 20, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges, prosecutor Tim Donovan said.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Brian Alvarez ordered Miller to be held in the Fresno County Jail in lieu of $695,000 bail. His next court hearing is July 18.
I needed some good news.
World War II veteran Robert ‘Bob’ Christiansen
Police say Miller robbed and assaulted 89-year-old Robert “Bob” Christiansen inside his home on the 3400 block of East Indianapolis Avenue in central Fresno on July 5.
Learning about Miller’s arraignment, Christiansen said in a telephone interview: “That’s great news.”
Christiansen is in the process of planning a memorial service for his wife of 66 years.
Police described what happened July 5: Christiansen answered a knock at his door and was met by Miller and a young woman. The pair acted as if they knew Christiansen and talked their way inside his home. Once in the home, Miller asked to use the bathroom but took so long that Christiansen became suspicious.
Christiansen said the woman with Miller appeared to be pregnant and talked with him.
“I became suspicious because he was gone a long time,” Christiansen said. “When I went to check on him, he ran out of my bedroom with a pillow case filled with my things.
“I tried to grab him, but I was no match for him.”
Christiansen said he called 911 and recalled wiping blood from his arm. He said the cut wasn’t bad, but bled a lot because “I take blood thinners.” When officers arrived, they asked paramedics to treat his arm.
He said police told him that Miller was “some kind of gypsy.”
Danny Eric Miller, 20, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Miller was arrested two days later when he went to his scheduled drug testing at the Fresno County Probation Department. Police have not publicly identified the woman who was with Miller when he allegedly confronted Christiansen.
Court records say Miller is initially from Sacramento, but had been living recently in Kerman and Fresno. He has an extensive criminal record, including a conviction in 2015 for assault with a deadly weapon. A year ago he was sentenced to nearly a year in jail and three years of probation. Court records say he violated terms of his probation three times in the past year.
The ordeal was scary, Christiansen said, and it happened while he is in the process of planning a memorial service for his wife, Jackie. She died June 24 at the age of 85. They had been married 66 years and had built a cabin at Shaver Lake where they shared fond memories with family and friends. Jackie Christiansen loved to fish with her husband and travel with him and their dogs in their RV. Her memorial service will be held July 23 at Trinity Lutheran Church on North Cedar Avenue in Fresno.
“I’m OK, but it’s been difficult,” Christiansen said. “I needed some good news.”