Miller agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 50-year sentence, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. The verdict was handed down last week. The 20-year-old was originally charged with “first-degree” murder, for which he could be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
The plaintiffs alleged that Miller had an affair with a transgender girl and killed her to cover it up. She allegedly threatened to disclose their relationship. He feared that because of his relationship with the transgender woman, he would be perceived as a gay man.
Stone, who lived in North Little Rock, was found dead in a car in Sherwood three weeks after her 17th birthday on June 25, 2020. She was shot in the head. Miller was arrested a week later and has been in prison ever since. Parole could only be considered after 35 years, including time he has already spent in custody.
Involved in another murder case
Miller was also involved in another murder. Teenager Bryan Allen Thompson († 17) was shot dead during a robbery in Sherwood in October 2016. Miller and two other teenagers were charged as a result.
At the time, Miller agreed to testify against the other two in exchange for dropping the charge of first-degree murder, eventually confessing to a particularly serious robbery.
However, he never had to testify because one of the accused had already confessed to the robbery, the other to the robbery and first-degree murder. The murder of 17-year-old Stone has now put him behind bars for half a century.
Violence against transgender people in the USA
Stone is one of 44 transgender people in the United States who are known to have died as a result of violence in 2020. It is the highest number in a single year since activists and the media report on it.
This year the number is likely to be even higher. There are already 34 such deaths. The number of unreported cases is likely to be higher because some police or the media do not identify hate crimes or deaths of transgender people as reported at all.