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A jury convicted Miller of the capital murder of Michael Mozingo in October 1982 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in September 1987.
In February 2004, a U.S. district court found that the state knew that Ray McCall was an unreliable witness, and that the state withheld statements taken from other witnesses who had heard about the crime from one or more of the participants, but who depicted Woods, rather than Miller, as the ringleader. The court ruled that the question of whether Miller or Woods was the ringleader would not have changed the jury finding Miller guilty, but it could have affected their decision to give him the death penalty, so it vacated the death sentence.
In November 2005, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's decision and reinstated the death sentence. The appeals court found that although the withheld statements did not support the prosecution's view that Miller was the ringleader, they nevertheless reinforced his guilt and participation in the crime. Under Texas law, a participant to a murder can be sentenced to death even if another participant is considered to have greater culpability. The court ruled that the cumulative effect of all evidence in the case made the withholding of some witness statements immaterial to not only the verdict, but also the sentence.
Miller's subsequent appeals were denied.
Danny Ray Woods pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and received concurrent life sentences. He remains in custody as of this writing.
Edward Segura pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery and received concurrent 25-year sentences. His mother, Dorothy Segura, told the Houston Chronicle that he was released around August 2006. According to public records, Segura was paroled in 1991, was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in jail for marijuana possession, and will be discharged from parole in November 2007.
While on death row, Miller declined requests for interviews. In a letter he wrote to the Houston Chronicle in January 2007, Miller admitted being "connected to this case just not to the degree portrayed at trial." He said he would never tell the story of what happened.
Apart from reporters, Miller's execution was not attended by any witnesses. He declined to make a final statement before receiving the lethal injection. He was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 28 February 2007.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Attorney General's office, Houston Chronicle, Huntsville Item, court documents.