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June 29, 2011

Miami Correctional inmate charged with murder

Convicted killer accused of strangling his cellmate

BUNKER HILL — Joseph W. Brown drank a cup of coffee and packed his personal belongings after killing his cellmate on June 19 at the Miami County Correctional Facility, according to court documents.

Brown, 56, has been charged with murder and criminal confinement in the strangulation death of Charles Miller, 62, Center.

Brown is already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, Miami County Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Wednesday.

Brown has been transferred from the Miami Correctional Facility to the Westville Correctional Facility. Embrey said Wednesday he has 60 days to decide if he will seek the death penalty.

“I will review the evidence before making a decision,” he said.

Embrey said the book “Blood Trail” was written about Brown, who was sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend, Ginger Gasaway, in 2000 in Evansville.

According to a probable cause affidavit signed by Indiana State Police Detective Mike Tarrh, Brown waived his rights and confessed to the slaying of Miller in the cell the two men had shared for two weeks.

Miller reportedly told Brown that he was a convicted child molester and Brown said he hates molesters, according to the statement made to Tarrh.

Court documents indicated that between 3:20 and 3:30 p.m. the two men were talking and Brown tore three or four strips from a bed sheet and told Miller to get in the bunk and cooperate or he would kill him. Miller tried to offer Brown money so he wouldn’t hurt him.

“If he offered me a $1,000, it wouldn’t have stopped me,” Brown told Tarrh.

Brown said Miller didn’t resist when he was tied up. Brown first tied Miller’s feet, then his hands behind his back, followed by a strip of sheet he stuffed in Miller’s mouth, according to the court records.

Brown then used the string from Miller’s laundry bag to strangle him.

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