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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Liam Buckler

Killer handed death sentence without a jury decision in Arizona after double murder charge

A killer has been handed a death sentence without a jury after he was convicted of murdering two young teenagers.

Bryan Patrick Miller, 50, waived his right to a jury trial after he was convicted in April on two counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and attempted assault of Angela Brosso, 16, in November 1992 and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas in September 1993.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Cohen found the Miller of killing the pair, and also ruled he was eligible for the death penalty.

Melanie Bernas was just 17-years-old when she was killed (PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT)
Angela Brosso was murdered on the eve of her 17th birthday (PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT)

Miller did not testify in the double murder trial, which started in October 2022, after he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Police said Ms Brosso and Ms Bernas had disappeared while riding the bicycles along the Arizona Canal in Phoenix in separate incidents.

Investigators believe Miller pushed Ms Brosso off her bike, stabbed her and then dragged her off the trail.

Her body was then found decapitated near a bike trail, according to police.

And just ten months later, investigators found Ms Bernas' body floating in the canal after she was reported missing.

DNA evidence collected at the scene of crimes showed they were linked to the same suspect.

Miller was arrested for the double murders in January 2015 following an investigation.

He had denied the killings and said he had no involvement in them - but did acknowledge he lived close to the victims.

In addition, he told officers he would ride his bike on the paths along the same area as the women.

Jill Canetta, Melanie Bernas’ older sister, told the court, on Wednesday, it will be the 30th anniversary of her death in September.

She said: “September of this year will mark the 30-year anniversary of the gruesome murder of our beloved little sister, Melanie.

"Words cannot begin to explain the level of excruciating pain we experience every single day since her murder.

"We live without her smile, her hugs, her companionship. We live without her love.”

Linda Brosso, Angela Brosso’s mum, said Miller had "stole" her only child which has "ripped her heart."

She added: “The defendant stole my angel from the Earth. Angela was my one and only. I will never be able to plan her wedding. I will never have grandchildren.

"With his actions on that night, he murdered my angel, he ripped my heart, and I will never, ever be the same.”

Miller's lawyers pleaded with the judge to sentence him to life in prison but prosecutors chose the death penalty instead.

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