An Atlanta woman was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison for the deadly beating and stabbing of her former girlfriend whose body was then set on fire.
On Monday, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office announced the woman’s second conviction for the murder of 56-year-old Cheryl Miranda.
Ms. Tonya Miller, 48, was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another in the 2005 slaying, the district attorney’s spokeswoman Ms. Yvette Jones said.
The investigation began on March 4, 2005, when a Fulton County officer discovered a pickup truck burning in a wooded area in the 5000 block of Welcome All Road, Ms. Jones said.
After the fire was extinguished, officials found the charred remains in the bed of the truck and the body was later identified as Ms. Miranda by her fingerprints.
Investigators then discovered that the truck, which belonged to the victim, was driven to Atlanta from Florida by Ms. Miller and her son, Mr. Jabaris Miller.
“The victim, Ms. Miranda, was last seen alive in Tampa a few days before her burning body was discovered in Atlanta,” Ms. Jones said.
“The medical examiner ruled her cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and a stab wound to her neck,” Ms. Jones said. “Her hands were bound by rope and a belt was tied around her neck.”
Prior to her death, Ms. Miranda had taken out a restraining order against Ms. Miller, her former roommate and girlfriend.
Witnesses testified that Ms. Miller and Ms. Miranda had a rocky relationship that led to the restraining order.
“Police were able to unravel the murder mystery when they discovered that Ms. Miller and her son were using the victim's cell phone to call relatives while they were driving her truck from Tampa to Atlanta,” Ms. Jones said.
“Miller and her son then hid in a relative's apartment until they decided to dump the truck in the woods and set the fire to conceal what actually happened.”
Ms. Miller and her son were convicted in 2008 for the crime. But while Mr. Jabaris Miller's conviction was affirmed by the Georgia Supreme Court, his mother's conviction was overturned based on inadmissible hearsay testimony and she was granted a new trial.
But a jury once again convicted Ms. Miller of all charges, which also include first-degree arson, officials said.
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