Randall Scott Miller, 34, of Three Rivers was sentenced on Friday, December 18 in St. Joseph County Circuit Court in relation to the 2019 death of Lori Norman, who was found unresponsive in her 5th Street home on March 25, 2019
Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman sentenced Miller — who previously pled guilty to one charge of second degree murder — to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison with 546 days served. Miller was also accessed $258 in court fees.
“[…] I’m horribly sorry and I regret everything that has happened along the way, I wish I could take it all back, I know I can’t but I apologize to everyone involved,” Miller said prior to his sentencing Friday.
In March 2019 officers from the Three Rivers Police Department were called to the scene of the incident sometime after midnight, and immediately attempted to perform lifesaving measures on Norman but were unable to revive her.
According to police documents, the medical examiner who conducted Norman’s autopsy said it was possible she died from strangulation. She reportedly had bruises on her hands, shoulder, and the side of her head, and cuts on her face, which likely occurred around the time of her death. Miller would later admit to strangling Norman in the presence of their children, lying to them about what had happened to their mother, and fleeing the scene.
Acting St. Joseph County Prosecutor Joshua Robare read an excerpt of a victim impact statement submitted by the foster parent of the children during Friday’s proceedings.
“Randall has taken so much more than a life, he’s not only taken (this child’s)** childhood but those of (their) siblings as well,” the statement read. “He’s stolen the opportunity for second chances, he ripped away the chance for a goodbye, and has left scars that will last a lifetime. I ask the court to take this into consideration when sentencing Randall Miller.
“Randall has shown no regard for anyone else but himself, he’s shown no regard for the law, violated his own children, taken the life of their mother, he now needs to be held accountable for the actions to the fullest extent. He has taken (this child’s)** childhood away and I ask the court to at least give (this child their)** future, to give (them) peace of mind that Randall would not be able to hurt or find (them) for many years to come.”
Following Robare’s comments, Stutesman said he wouldn’t interfere with the plea agreement reached between the prosecution and the defendant “although it’s tempting to do so,” due to the severity of the crime in question, and other accusations lodged against Miller.
“I have learned that plea agreements are entered into to accommodate victims as much as defendants sometimes,” Stutesman said.
Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.
**The names of children involved in this case were mentioned during Randall Miller’s sentencing but Watershed Voice will not publish those names out of respect for their privacy