Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Man Convicted of 1981 Rape, Murder Is Resentenced, Gets 43 Years to Life

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Man Convicted of 1981 Rape, Murder Is Resentenced, Gets 43 Years to Life

Article excerpt

A man who was 15 when he kidnapped, raped and locked a woman in the trunk of a car before setting it on fire in 1981 was resentenced Wednesday to serve 43 years to life in prison.

James Miller, 52, is one of nearly 60 defendants in Allegheny County to be resentenced following two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that made mandatory life without parole prison terms for juveniles unconstitutional.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski heard testimony in the case on Sept. 27 and rendered his verdict Wednesday.

Linda Iglar, 24, was leaving Magee-Womens Hospital about 10 a.m. Feb. 12, 1981, when prosecutors said, Miller approached her in the parking lot.

Armed with a starter pistol, he got in the car with her and forced her to drive. After she began driving irregularly and screaming, he ordered her to stop. He then drove to a parking lot, where he raped her, police said. After that, they continued, Miller took the car to a junkyard in Northview Heights, forced Ms. Iglar into the trunk and set it on fire.

Her body was found the next morning, and Miller was charged five days later. Two months after that, police also charged him with rape and related charges involving four other women.

In August 1981, Miller was found guilty of second-degree murder, rape, robbery and burglary and ordered to serve life without parole.

In a sentencing memo to the judge, attorney Rachael Santoriella described her client as having an abuse-filled childhood in which his mother worked as a prostitute and even once tried to kill him. After his arrest, Miller's mother arrived at the police station, stayed for 18 minutes and left him to be interviewed by himself.

Since his incarceration, his defense attorney argued, Miller has become "a responsible, caring, nurturing, mature, forgiving man," and an exemplary inmate. …

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