Police interrogation video shows ‘Zombie Hunter’ on day of arrest
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Bryan Patrick Miller complained about being beaten by his mother in a two-hour interrogation video taken the day he was arrested for a pair of murders that took place 30 years ago.
Miller is standing trial for the murders of Angela Brosso in 1992 and Melanie Bernas in 1993. The victims were riding bikes on trails near the Arizona Canal. Both women’s bodies were mutilated, and Brosso was beheaded. Forensic evidence shows both women were sexually assaulted.
Miller was arrested in 2015 after investigators were able to match his DNA to the DNA found on the victims. His trial began last month after years of delays.
On Wednesday, prosecutors played 40 minutes of Miller’s two-hour interrogation video. In the video, Phoenix Police Detective William Schira asks Miller what it was like growing up with his mother after his father died. “With me and my mom? Horrible,” Miller says. “Being beaten. Didn’t matter if I did something wrong or if she did something and forgot she did it, I would get a beating for it.”
Defense attorneys are hoping to convince the judge, serving as both judge and jury, that childhood abuse led to mental illness and that Miller should be deemed not guilty by reason of insanity.
In another section of the video, Schira asks Miller about a letter he had written when he was a teenager. It describes the process of attacking, torturing and murdering a 17-year-old girl. Prosecutors refer to that letter as “the plan.” They say it shows Miller planned the murders of Brosso and Bernas.
“Do you remember writing this?” asks Schira after placing a sheet of paper in front of Miller. “That does look like my handwriting,” says Miller after examining the paper. “Would it surprise you if I told you that your mom brought this to the police department?” says Schira.
Miller’s mother took the letter to the Phoenix Police Department in the early 1990′s, after finding it in Miller’s room. The letter eventually led to Miller being placed on a list of persons of interest in the case.
Schira has since retired from the police department, but he also testified Wednesday. “Did he have any explanation for you why his DNA or semen was on on and in Ms. Bernas and Ms. Brosso?” asked prosecutor Vincent Imbordino. “He could not explain that,” said Schira.
Earlier in the day, another retired Phoenix police officer testified about a conversation he had with Miller in 1989. Miller, a teenager at the time, had just been arrested for stabbing a woman in the Paradise Valley Mall parking lot. Officer Oliver Peltier was transporting Miller to a juvenile detention center when the conversation took place.
“After my initial question to him, I asked him if he did it to see what it felt like. And Bryan said, ‘I guess that’s why I did it,’” said Peltier.
“Did you ask him what it made him feel?” said Imbordino. “I did. I said, ‘How did it make you feel?’ And Bryan said it sent chills up his spine,” replied Peltier.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.