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Neighbor denies provoking minister to pull gun

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By Lisa King

A Bagdad man who was the alleged target of his neighbor's wrath said he did not provoke the incident in any way.

R.Z. Miller, also of Bagdad, is charged with second-degree wanton endangerment for pulling a gun on his neighbor, Dana Duncan.

GRAPH ON HIS SITUAITON

Miller pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Shelby District Court on a charge of second-degree wanton endangerment. He will appear for a pre-trial hearing.

Miller said in an interview last week that he only raised his gun in an incident July 24 because Duncan had threatened him with a Weed Eater.

Duncan told The Sentinel-News that he did not come at Miller with a Weed Eater, that in fact, when Miller came up to him, he turned off the instrument and laid it aside.

"One day, I was weed eating, and he drove by, and I ignored him, but he kept turning around and driving by," Duncan said of Miller, who also is a Louisville minister.

"Finally, he stopped and yelled out his window, 'What did you call me?' I said, 'Nothing.' And then he pulled a gun out and said, 'I'll pop a cap in your ...'"

Duncan said when Miller pointed a .38-caliber revolver at him, that's when he decided to call the Kentucky State Police.

"It's an unfortunate thing, but he pulled a gun and threatened my life," he said. "If I'd done that to him, I'd probably still be in jail."

He added that he did not call Miller racial names, as Miller has stated as what motivated the incident to begin with.

"For him to say I'm a racist...well, that's just not true at all," Duncan said.

He said Miller got the idea he was racist because he has a Confederate flag hanging on the side of his barn, but that assumption is incorrect.

"That flag is not about racism," he said. "It's the battle flag of the Confederate states. It's a Southern thing, and I'm proud to be a Southerner, just as I'm proud to be an American.

"I've got an American flag on my porch. And besides, that flag is on a barn that is way down in the holler on my property. You can't even see it from the road. My mother didn't even know it was there. So how did he see it?"

The two have been having problems for a couple of years, Duncan said, ever since Miller moved next to him on Cedarmore Road.

The first disagreement was over their common fence row, Duncan said, and the next involved Miller's being upset because he said Duncan's son was hunting on his property.

Duncan said incident involving the firearm was the last straw.

"I just want people to know the truth," Duncan said. "I was on my property, and he just decided to come over and harass me."