In November 1999, Bruce Miller’s untimely death was initially chalked up to a robbery gone wrong. However, a few months later, the suicide of another man about 600 miles away cracked Bruce’s case wide open, with evidence that pointed to a new suspect. ABC News’ ’20/20: You’ve Got Jail’ focuses on the reasons behind Bruce’s murder and how the case unfolded after that. So, let’s find out what happened then, shall we?
How Did Bruce Miller Die?
Bruce Leroy Miller was born in July 1951. The Michigan native was a successful businessman and ran an auto salvage yard in Flint, Michigan. Apart from that, Bruce was also an employee at General Motors. At the time of the incident, Bruce was married to Sharee Miller for about seven months. Despite their significant age difference, the couple seemed to get along well. The 48-year-old was at the salvage yard when he last spoke to Sharee over the phone on November 8, 1999.
When Sharee didn’t hear from her husband again, she was worried and had his brother, Chuck, go to the yard. Over there, Bruce was found dead on the floor with a shotgun wound to the chest that was caused at close range. At the outset, the crime seemed to have resulted from a robbery because about $2000 that Bruce had on him was missing. However, a few months later, the case took a major turn, implicating someone close to the 48-year-old.
Who Killed Bruce Miller?
Initially, the investigation hit a wall because no clear evidence led to a possible suspect. One of Bruce’s associates, John Hutchinson, was looked at. John had threatened to dispose of Bruce, and he was also supposed to give money to the victim. However, no physical evidence tied him to the case. Then, in February 2000, a man named Jerry Cassaday killed himself in Missouri, leaving behind a suicide note and a briefcase that contained evidence and a confession in relation to Bruce’s murder.
The authorities then learned that Sharee had an affair with Jerry Cassaday while married to Bruce. The two met in an online chatroom and progressed to meeting up in person. The evidence found at Jerry’s apartment included a suicide note that had him confessing to killing Bruce. But in an unexpected twist, he claimed Sharee helped him plan and carry out the murder. Jerry had also printed out instant message communication between himself and Sharee that included explicit messages and photographs as proof of their relationship.
Through the messages and emails that Jerry and Sharee exchanged, the authorities realized that Bruce’s seemingly innocent wife had a large part in his death. Sharee lied about Bruce being abusive and becoming pregnant with Jerry’s children. The communication they exchanged in the time leading up to Bruce’s murder had Sharee give Jerry directions to the salvage yard, telling him where to park and other information that made her involvement clear.
In the end, it was clear to the authorities that Jerry and Sharee planned Bruce’s murder, with the former driving up to Flint to kill him. Sharee was arrested a few weeks after Jerry’s death and eventually stood trial for murder and conspiracy and was convicted in December 2000. Jerry’s suicide letter became a point of contention during the legal proceedings, and despite a lot of back-and-forths over the years, Sharee remains behind bars due to a life sentence.