DENVER — The strange circumstances surrounding Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller kept piling up Monday afternoon as it emerged that he may be called as a witness in a horrific murder case.
Miller could be asked to testify in the death penalty case against Dexter Lewis, who allegedly stabbed five people to death and set fire to Fero’s Bar in October of 2012, the Broncos organization confirmed Monday evening.
“We’ve been aware that (Miller’s) name appears on a potential witness list, but he has zero direct involvement in this case,” the team told FOX31 Denver.
Miller’s name is listed among more than 100 potential witnesses in the case. He appears to be a possible acquaintance of Lewis, but there is no indication he had any other involvement, The Denver Post reported.
The news came amidst reports that Miller faces at least a six-game suspension for violating the National Football League’s drug policy.
Broncos Head Coach John Fox denied the suspension reports earlier Monday.
“There is no suspension,” Fox told reporters. “At which time there is, we’ll report that.”
“We are aware of reports,” Fox said referring to an article by ESPN reporter Adam Schefter regarding the potential suspension.
“I think we’d probably find out before other people,” Fox said.
Miller, a two-time Pro Bowler who has proven key to the Broncos defense since he was drafted in 2011, is still trying to negotiate a lesser punishment for the violation.
A four-game suspension initially seemed to be a possibility, but six now seems more likely, ESPN reported.
From @Mortreport and me: Broncos LB Von Miller likely will be suspended as soon as today for at least six games.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 19, 2013
A diluted sample appears to have caused the most recent violation, NFL.com reported.
Reports Monday night indicated Miller was no longer planning to appeal a suspension. But that he was working out details of his suspension with the NFL.
Miller’s fate now seems especially vital for the Broncos after Saturday’s grim preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks, in which multiple defensive players went down with injuries. Defensive end Derek Wolfe was briefly hospitalized with a neck injury, while cornerback Champ Bailey was seen on crutches following a foot injury.
Fox called the injuries “par for the course,” adding “I have never been on a football team that hasn’t had injuries.”
Those players were expected to return in time for the regular season, but it’s anyone’s guess if they’ll be at 100 percent.