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3rd Member of Teen Group Pleads Guilty to Marion Man's 2012 Murder
MARION (Ken Hines) -- A third person has been convicted of joining with a teenage girl to plot and carry out the murder of her stepfather.
Justin Miller pleaded guilty Monday to his role in the October, 2012 murder of Alan Brown inside the victim's Marion home.
Miller, now 20-years old, was one of five teens believed to have been involved in Brown's murder. That group included the victim's step-daughter, 14-year-old Ashley Brown, who allowed her step-father's killers into the home on the day of his murder, according to prosecutors.
"They came up the steps. Justin Miller had a baseball bat," Marion County Prosecutor Brent Yager said. "[He] hit the victim in the at least two times -- maybe more -- in the head to stun him."
After Miller delivered the blows with the bat, investigators believe Taylor Sherman took over, stabbing Brown 17 times.
Miller was sentenced to 30 years in prison after entering his guilty plea. Sherman pleaded guilty to murder in July, and will be sentenced in November.
The teens originally planned to rob Brown, 61, but soon decided to kill him, according to prosecutors, who believe the group nearly carried out the murder on two occasions in the days leading up to the victim's death on Tuesday, October 31st.
"The Sunday before [the murder], they were going to do it. That was aborted," Yager said. "Then Monday, they were going to do it, but the victim's wife stayed home from work that day."
Sherman's girlfriend, Amanda Brockman, has also pleaded guilty to her role in the crime, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Ashley Brown is charged with complicity to commit murder. Her case will be decided within the juvenile justice system.
Another teen, Grant Blackwell, is charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the murder. He is scheduled to appear in court on August 21.
Each of the teens admitted to their roles in Brown's murder, and seems unaffected by the consequences of the crime, according to Yager.
"Very matter of fact about it," he said. "It's like they don't grasp how serious this was and the gravity that somebody lost their life."