COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. - Law enforcement is turning up the heat on a fugitive wanted in connection with the recent murder of a man in Columbia Heights.
The FBI has now joined the hunt for Phillip Leron Miller, who fled the area after police say he shot a man to death on April 20. The 41-year-old Miller is charged with second degree murder in the death of Philip Charles Borer Nelson, an advisor at the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul. Officials at the school say Nelson worked there for two years and was a 2005 graduate of the program.
On Friday the FBI sent out a poster announcing that Nelson was charged Thursday in federal court with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Phillip Leron Nelson is described as 5 foot 6 to 5 foot 7 inches tall, around 150 pounds with dreadlocks. He is also known by a number of aliases, including Hot Dog, Unk, Ox, Benjamin Lee, and Phillip L. Covington, among others. He should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who spots Phillip Leron Miller is warned not to approach him, but to call 911 or the FBI's Minneapolis field office at 763-569-8000. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for Miller's capture and prosecution.
According to the criminal complaint, around 4:30 a.m., police were called to a Columbia Heights apartment in the 1000 block of 41st Avenue Northeast. They found Nelson dead of multiple gunshot wounds. A woman, one of the apartment tenants, told investigators that Nelson was her ex-boyfriend. She claims Nelson attempted to contact her and enter her apartment in the middle of the night. She says she originally did not allow him in, but later said he was inside for a short time then left.
After Nelson left, the woman told investigators she called her friend, "OX," later identified as Miller. Miller arrived a short time later. Miller and the woman were in her bedroom when, according to the complaint, she walked into the living room and noticed a "dark, unknown figure hiding behind the couch." The woman says she went back to the bedroom, told Miller what she'd seen and he went to investigate. The woman told investigators she heard two male voices screaming and then what appeared to be multiple gunshots.
Nelson's fiance told investigators he expressed previous concerns about being "set up" by his ex-girlfriend.