Death is the jury's verdict in the Victor Miller trial

Friday, April 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Two families express relief after a Tulsa County District Court jury sentences Victor Miller to death for murdering two innocent people.

Victor Miller wasn't in the courtroom to hear the jury's verdict Friday night because he started yelling during the prosecution's closing arguments and deputies escorted him out. While no one celebrated Friday's verdict as a victory, the victim's families did feel they received some justice.

Families members shared a few hugs and many tears after waiting two and a half years to get vindication for the deaths of two kind-hearted citizens who were strangers in life, but, forever linked by death. Dianne Moseby, victim's relative: "Both Victor Miller and John Hanson made the choice to give up their lives when they took the lives of these two precious people."

Miller and Hanson carjacked and killed Bowles and killed Thurman when he tried to help her. Miller got death for shooting Thurman and life without parole for Bowles murder. Steve Sewell, Asst Tulsa County DA: "In no way does this bring back Mary Bowles and Gerald Thurman, but, it does hold these men accountable for what happened on August 31st, 1999."

Miller's attorneys hoped to avoid the death sentece altogether. Sid Conway, defense attorney: "I, of course, felt Victor Miller's childhood caused this damage and thought life without parole is the appropriate sentence." Trish Hampton, victim's relative: "They talked about how his childhood caused him to make these choices. Regardless of our past, we know when our choices are right and wrong and I think the jury reflected that by holding Miller accountable for what he did."

The victim's expressed their sympathy toward Miller's family and then thanked police, prosecutors and most of all the 12 citizens who did their civic duty and spent three weeks as jurors on this case.

Miller is already serving life plus 157 years in federal prison for other crimes.