The prosecutor in a deadly Barren County shooting will seek the death penalty for the accused suspect.

Aaron Rodriguez, 24, of Nashville, is charged with murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Melissa Miller, 54, who was shot May 23 in the 100 block of Ann Avenue.

Miller died at T.J. Samson Community Hospital.

Rodriguez was arrested May 27 and has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

On Nov. 29, Barren County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Gardner filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty, life without parole or life with no possibility of parole for at least 25 years.

Gardner’s filing cited a Kentucky statute that makes a murder case eligible for the death penalty if a defendant commits the homicide during another violent crime.

Gardner said he pursued the death penalty after discussing the matter with Miller’s family.

The shooting was investigated by the Glasgow Police Department, which was dispatched to Ann Avenue on the night of May 23.

Witnesses told police a person had fired a shot from the passenger seat of a vehicle, which one witness identified as a white Ford Fusion with chrome detailing, according to court records.

Miller’s grandson reportedly witnessed the shooting and said the suspect had come to the residence to buy a laptop computer, according to an arrest warrant sworn by GPD Detective Guy Turcotte.

The grandson told police that the sale had been arranged over Facebook.

“Melissa Miller’s phone showed that the subject who had arranged the transaction purported to be Shawn Buchanan,” Turcotte said in the warrant.

Miller’s grandson said the shooter was in the passenger seat of the vehicle and appeared to have an injured hand, which had been mentioned in text messages earlier in the day, the warrant said.

Further investigation of Miller’s phone enabled police to learn a possible location for the person with whom she had been communicating, which tracked to a Nashville address.

Police learned that the address was associated with Rodriguez, and Turcotte contacted police in Nashville with the information, asking investigators there to check the address for a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle at the scene of the shooting.

“Tennessee authorities then informed Turcotte that they had an arrest warrant for Rodriguez for a theft that had occurred nearly the same way in Tennessee, namely, a theft of an item during a transaction that had been arranged on Facebook under a false name,” the warrant said.

Rodriguez was arrested in Tennessee on the warrant from that state, and he was found in possession of a firearm matching the caliber of firearm used to shoot Miller, the warrant said.

“Rodriguez is also the registered owner of a white Ford Fusion matching the description of the vehicle identified by witnesses at the crime scene,” the warrant said.

– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit


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