MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. (TCD) -- A judge has found a 50-year-old man guilty of kidnapping, killing, and mutilating two young women nearly 30 years ago along an Arizona canal.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced the verdict April 11 after a six-month bench trial. Judge Suzanne Cohen convicted Bryan Patrick Miller of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of attempted sexual assault in connection with the deaths of Angela Brosso and Melanie Burnas.
Prosecutors filed to seek the death penalty in May 2015, and the statement said the court will move to that phase next.
According to the Arizona Republic, Brosso, 22, and Bernas, 17, were slain in November 1992 and September 1993, respectively. Both women were reportedly cycling near the canal when Miller, who was 20 years old at the time, fatally stabbed each victim in the back.
Investigators found Brosso’s naked, beheaded, and mutilated body in a field near her apartment with a trail of blood. Officials found her head 11 days later in the Arizona canal.
According to the Arizona Republic, investigators located Bernas’ body drifting in the water with the letters "WSC" carved into her chest.
Miller reportedly mutilated and sexually assaulted the women either before or after their deaths, and he was arrested more than two decades later, in 2015.
Miller’s sperm was recovered from vaginal swabs taken from each victim and their clothing at the scene, the Arizona Republic reports.
According to the Arizona Republic, prosecutors argued that Miller watched violent porn and partook in BDSM sex with his ex-wife. Prosecutors also reportedly said Miller planned the killings, brought a knife with him to the scene, and even had a turquoise bodysuit with him that he put on Bernas after her death.
County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said, "This verdict in the murders of Angela Brosso and Melanie Burnas took decades of work by law enforcement and prosecutors."
Mitchell continued, "After more than two decades of anguish, the families of these women now have someone held accountable for their heinous murders."