ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix man sentenced to death in canal murder cases

Jun 7, 2023, 1:46 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2023, 10:19 am

Bryan Patrick Miller (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — The man found guilty of murdering two young women in separate killings 30 years ago near a metro Phoenix canal system was sentenced to death on Wednesday.

Bryan Patrick Miller, 50, received the sentence after he was found responsible in the deaths of 21-year-old Angela Brosso in November 1992 and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas in September 1993.

Brosso and Bernas both disappeared while riding their bicycles along the Arizona Canal in north Phoenix.

Police believe Miller knocked Brosso off her bicycle, stabbed her and dragged her off the trail. Her naked body was found decapitated near a bike trail.

Ten months later, police said Bernas’ body was discovered floating in the canal. Bernas was not decapitated, but her bicycle was missing.

Authorities said DNA evidence collected in the aftermath of both crimes showed the attacks were linked to the same suspect, and Miller was arrested for the murders in January 2015.

Judge Suzanne Cohen found Miller guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and also two counts of kidnapping and attempted sexual assault in April.

Miller denied any involvement although he acknowledged living in the vicinity of the killings at the time and said he rode his bike on paths in the area.

It took years before Miller was found mentally competent to stand trial.

He waived his right to a jury trial, leading to the Maricopa County Superior Court judge deciding Miller’s fate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Phoenix man sentenced to death in canal murder cases