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Indiana Man Sentenced To 115 Years In Prison In Cold Case Killing Of Professor During Botched 2011 Home Invasion

“No sentence can adequately address the harm this caused to this community,” prosecutors said after Winston Corbett was sentenced.

By Dorian Geiger
5 Infamous Cold Cases of Murder

An Indiana man convicted of murdering a college biology professor and stabbing his wife nearly two dozen times almost a decade ago was sentenced this week to 115 years behind bars.

In November, Winston Corbett was found guilty by a jury of murdering James Miller and gravely wounding his wife, Linda Miller, following a botched 2011 invasion of their Goshen, Indiana home. On Dec. 28, an Elkhart County circuit court judge sentenced Corbett, now 26, to a combined 115 years in prison. 

“The evidence showed the depth of the depravity, the callousness, the heinousness, and just how sociopathic your behavior was,” Judge Michael Christofeno said, the Goshen News reported. “And this struck me during the course of the trial, Mr. Corbett.”

The Millers, who were both stabbed multiple times, were attacked in their home in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2011. James Miller was killed in the incident, while Linda Miller, who prosecutors said was stabbed 23 times, managed to call 911 and survived.

Altogether, the couple had sustained a combined total of nearly 80 stab wounds, according to Goshen News.

Winston Corbett

The case remained unsolved for roughly six years. In 2017, detectives using DNA evidence and genetic genealogical databases pinpointed several possible suspects who had lived within a mile of the Miller home. 

Analysis of several dozen bloodstains found at the couple’s home eventually led investigators to Corbett. Two samples were found to contain a mixture of Corbett and James Miller’s DNA, and a separate single-source DNA sample recovered from the crime scene was also identified as belonging to Corbett.

A year later, prosecutors filed formal charges against Corbett, according to documents obtained by Oxygen.com.

In court, Corbett vehemently fought the charges, insisting he was innocent. He disputed the forensic evidence, calling whoever carried out the deadly attack “sadistic,” prosecutors said.

“Mr. Corbett is definitely somebody who definitely meets the definition of sociopathic,” Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Elaine Becker told Oxygen.com

During the trial, Linda Miller confronted her attacker and her husband’s killer via video teleconference.

“There are many days that I want to die because I couldn’t stand the pain,” she told the court. “There are also many days that I made plans to die because the pain was unbearable. The night we lost Jim, we lost a lot.”

Corbett’s attack “brought fear into my life,” she said, according to Goshen News. “He brought fear into our neighborhood, and he brought fear into our community.”

As the widowed woman identified Corbett, prosecutors said his eye began twitching uncontrollably.

“I watched him and what I saw was chilling,” Becker said.

For years, Miller’s unsolved murder also terrified the residents of the small Indiana city of Goshen.

“This is one of those cases, [where] no sentence can adequately address the harm this caused to this community,” Becker added. “Hundreds, if not thousands of people, were in significant fear during the time this investigation was pending due to so many unknowns.”

Corbett was sentenced to 65 years and 50 years, respectively, on murder and attempted murder charges, with both terms set to run concurrently. Prosecutors, however, said Corbett could likely walk free in old age, as he will receive 50% time-served because of outdated state law. 

“He’s only going to see about 50 years,” Becker said. “He’s a very young man, so he will not have to serve the whole 115 [years] because of the state of Indiana’s laws at the time that this occurred. Fortunately, that has changed. But at the time that this occurred, he still qualified for day-to-day credit.” 

Corbett intends to appeal the conviction and sentence, the Associated Press reported.

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