Guilty Verdict in Marietta Cold Case

6-21-06 - A Love County jury didn't take long to return a guilty verdict in a case that went unsolved for more than a decade. Jurors found Maurice Miller guilty Wednesday for the 1994 murders of an elderly couple.

Prosecutors say Miller and another man, now deceased, robbed and stabbed James and Lena West in their home on December 6, 1994.

Miller was a 16-year-old from Wynnewood at the time.

DNA evidence helped solve the case last year, when authorities tracked down Miller, who was already in prison on drug charges. His accomplice, Billy Wayne Henderson, was already dead.

District Attorney Craig Ladd of the 20th District said, "OSBI was able to use a process called mitochondrial DNA analysis that was very useful and very beneficial in this case, and led to other leads."

This case has special meaning for Ladd. He worked closely with former Mitch Sperry to bring charges against miller.

Days before the preliminary hearing, Sperry passed away.