World War II vet stares down robber who then admits crime

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Robert Christiansen can be a pretty tough guy. He's a war veteran, a Merchant Marine who served in the Pacific. (KFSN)

An unusual moment in court Wednesday led to quick justice for a World War II veteran.

The convicted felon who schmoozed his way into the man's home and then robbed him admitted to his crime right in the middle of testimony from the victim.

Robert Christiansen can be a pretty tough guy. He's a war veteran, a Merchant Marine who served in the Pacific.

But at 89, he wasn't tough enough to stop Danny Miller from stealing thousands of dollars in jewelry and cash from his home.
On Wednesday, he got the chance to show the robber his tough side.

"I just sat and stared him down," Christiansen said. "I don't know if you noticed or not. I stared at him the whole time I was sitting there. I was going to say a few cuss words."

Christiansen was testifying in a preliminary hearing against Miller, explaining how the 20-year-old weaseled his way into Christiansen's home.
He knocked on the door and pretended they knew each other. Christiansen was pretty sure he knew better, but he couldn't stop it.

"He's pushing me into the house and I backed up and like I said, I'm not thinking straight or I wouldn't have let that happen," he said.

He wasn't thinking straight because his wife had just died. The money he had in his wallet was what he had left over after paying for her funeral. He believes Miller distracted him while a pregnant female accomplice took the money. And then the woman distracted him while Miller took his and his late wife's jewelry from the bedroom.

He thinks they targeted him because his wife's obituary was published earlier the same week.

"He's out picking on old people that their husbands or wives are passing on and you're at the worst time of life right then," Christiansen said.

Fresno police have a warrant out for the arrest of Nicole Costello whose pregnancy may give her away as the accomplice. But they caught Miller. And in the middle of the stare-down and testimony from Christiansen, Miller had a change of heart.

He decided to plead "no contest" to home invasion robbery. He'll serve a 14-year prison sentence. Christiansen says he wishes it was 100, but at least he'll never have to worry about Miller again.
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