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Here’s a quick update on the last month to catch you up to speed! 

May was whirlwind of activity — the Michael Colucci trial was delayed at the last minute, and the universe gave us a brand new case that desperately needed sunlight at a crucial moment.  Here are 5 things to know as we barrel towards summer and keep screaming for justice.

Number One – The Michael Colucci Trial Was Postponed

On May 7th, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said that the retrial of Michael Colucci will be postponed due to the expected length of the trial. Colucci, was charged and prosecuted for the 2015 murder of his wife Sara Lynn Moore Colucci in 2018, but that ended in a mistrial due to hung jury.  You can rewatch the first trial on Court TV and listen to True Sunlight Episodes 43, and 45 through 49. Michael Colucci was then expected to face a second Berkeley County jury beginning on May 13. Instead, the trial was postponed; with the AG’s office saying the  judge and court staff didn’t have the availability if the trial continued into a second week . In late May, the Berkeley County Clerk of Court posted Colucci’s rescheduled trial date as June 10th on Judge Deadre Jefferson’s docket, but the AG’s office says that was a clerical error. A new date has not been set. Sara Lynn’s family has now been waiting more than  9 years for justice. 

Number Two – We listened when you told us about Mica Miller

The peskiness of the Luna Shark community was heard and the team began investigating Mica Miller’s April 27  death Robeson County, North Carolina.  Mica  lived in Myrtle Beach and had filed for divorce from her husband, Pastor JP Miller  just two days before her death. Her death, which was ruled  a suicide by the Robeson County medical examiner, has confused a number of close friends and family and we plan to keep digging.  Mandy reported in Episode 53 that the FBI has confirmed that they were asked to conduct and investigation — but we have confirmation that people are being questioned by federal agents about Mica and JP Miller on matters not related to church finances… Here’s what Mandy said about Mica’s story in True Sunlight Episode 50:

Mica’s story is also one that has really captured people’s attention because it details how painfully hard it is for women in this country to leave their abusers. And how little accountability abusers face in our current justice system. Every time I have looked at Twitter in the past three days, I have read different women’s survival stories that are being shared in response to what happened to Mica. Mica’s story could be a watershed moment for survivors of abuse to change the justice system. Now that they ruled her death a suicide, are we going to choose to pack up and move to the next hot story in the true crime world? Or are we going to choose to do something about it? Every time I look at Twitter, I see more women who survived abusive relationships telling their stories of how the system failed them in light of what happened to Mica. This could be a system shifting movement for women. We’re going to end by playing you the 911 call that deputies say Mica made right before ending her life. It’s very difficult to listen to, knowing that a person is about to die. A life is about to be gone forever.

True Sunlight, Episode #50 Exposing The Evil That Ended Mica Miller’s Life + Michael Colucci’s Retrial POSTPONED

You can hear more about our investigation into Mica’s life in the years and months leading up to her death on True Sunlight’s episodes 50 through 53 and on Cup of Justice episodes 80 and 82, and 83.

Number Three – Court TV came to  Cup of Justice in May

It was a big month for Cup of Justice with two popular CourtTV anchors stopping by to chat about the law, victim advocacy, and more. Vinnie Politan joined Mandy and EB on episode 76 then Julie Grant joined Liz and EB on episode 81. 

Julie has worked as  both a lawyer and journalist and shared her experience as she discussed multiple cases with Liz and Eric. You can also hear the trio discuss  law school, career paths and what it means to be a victim advocate.

If I could wave a magic wand, I definitely can tell you what it is it would be to limit the amount of case post postponements that can happen so that victims aren’t re victimized and inconvenienced because, and you know, I’m seeing Eric nodding, I know he knows what I’m getting at. When I was a prosecutor so many times, listen, Eric, I would have all my victims ready to go. I was ready to take the case to trial. And I would have the defense lawyer come in and say you have everybody here. I should do Let’s go, you know, we go into the jury room or we pick in are we what are we doing? And then it would be Oh, I’m going to put in a postponement just to make the victim have to go back home. Now. They had to take off work, you know, so So they’re using their vacation time, they probably had to, you know, pay some money to park downtown, or maybe pay their babysitter, whatever else they had to do. So they’re being financially victimized, emotionally victimized, again, and again, because of nonsense postponements. So I would say unless there’s a legitimate reason, I guess my my wish would be for courts to better vet those types of postponements to say, Ah, you’re not just going to throw in a postponement because you want hope that people get so frustrated from showing up again and again and again that one day they just say no, I’m done.

Julie Grant, from Cup of Justice #81

Number Four – Mandy Talked High Profile Cases with Documentarian Erin Lee Carr

Cup of Justice featured Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr as a special guest on episode 83. Erin is the director of two of Mandy’s favorite documentaries: Mommy Dead and Dearest, and I love you now die– both of which are complicated stories with female defendants.  The two talked about victim’s advocacy as well as empathetic reporting.

Number Five – FOIA Requests Pile High In May

I think we’ve broken our record for the amount of FOIA requests filed in a single month. Mica’s case has left us with questions that lead to more questions and countless avenues to explore as we work to find the truth about her death, her life, and what is actually going on at Solid Rock at Market Common. FOIA requests – which are expensive and time consuming – are our ticket to getting police reports, property records, court filings, and other public documents. By my count we have filed nearly three dozen FOIA requests just in Mica’s case alone, and the returns are coming in day by day. As we did research in this case, we realized that JP Miller had pleaded guilty to a count of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a conviction that he was pardoned for in 2022. A FOIA request for the court filings gave us more insight into the incident that led to JP’s guilty plea. Here’s Liz in True Sunlight Episode 53: 

Real quick … we have a little more information about that incident we want to share with you. 

Also, I want to tell you a quick story about what it’s like to be a journalist in South Carolina sometimes. 

When you’ve read as many public documents as we have, you start to see a trend — and we know this trend isn’t a fluke or just random acts of carelessness because we both have heard of public servants out there who admit to doing this kind of thing on purpose because they think it’s funny … but my GOD the number of times we’ve received police reports or warrants or any sort of document connected to a criminal investigation where the agency has STAMPED their filing date and other information over the most critical parts of the document … it’s UNREAL.

And it’s perverse. It’s like they delight in keeping the public — the community they’re ostensibly a part of — in the dark about information. 

Anyway, this was the case with JP’s arrest warrant from back in the day. 

Some bureaucrat put their big fat liquidy filing stamp on top of the most horrifying part of what JP was accused of doing back then. 

According to this warrant, at around 3:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 1998, JP was driving at a high rate of speed. At that time, the road was flooded with water. People were out walking to their cars and they yelled at JP to slow down

JP then went around a curve and hit a woman named Jennifer Garland with the bumper of his truck. She lost her balance and before she could stand up straight, he hit her again. Then he drove with her on the hood of his truck for a quarter of a mile before slamming on his brakes and throwing her off.

So this wasn’t a matter of a reckless and youthful accident. JP Miller literally drove with another human being on the hood of his truck and then made it so she’d further hurt herself.

Liz Farrell from True Sunlight Episode #53: The Ominous Legal Document Filed Before Mica Miller’s Death + The Dark Past of JP Miller’s Father

Soak up the Sun Premium Members can see the documents for themselves by visiting the Members Lounge at, or by checking out the #soak-up-the-sun channel on Discord. 

As always, we thank you all for your support as we keep pushing for justice for victims and working to shine light into the darkest corners of the criminal justice system. Soak Up the Sun premium members, don’t forget to check out the members lounge where you can get access to court documents, information we found after filing FOIA requests, and exclusive articles.

Contact Beth Braden

Beth Braden

Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist with experience covering government, education and crime and courts for more than 10 years. In addition to following breaking news and writing feature stories about life in her home state of Tennessee, her by-line appears on several internationally known websites.

Beth is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and she loves to pore over public records and court documents as she seeks out patterns and context to share with her audience. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.

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