WINONA — The Winona man charged with killing another man with a hammer and starting a fire in March 2109 was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.
Steven Edward Miller, 33, was sentenced on Oct. 12 in Winona County District Court by Nancy Buytendorp to consecutive prison sentences of 210 months and 57 months, according to court records.
Miller pleaded guilty two months earlier to second-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection to the March 2019 incident. He will receive credit for 567 days he already served.
Shortly before 4 a.m. on March 25, 2019, a Winona police officer found a duplex on fire on Eighth Street.
After firefighters had extinguished the fire, the duplex owner's body was found inside. An autopsy determined that the man had died of "homicidal violence, including blunt force trauma," according to the criminal complaint The man suffered lacerations to his head and multiple facial/skull fractures. A medical examiner did not find evidence of smoke inhalation.
Police found two forms with Miller's name on it at the duplex, and video surveillance from the Walmart in Winona showed Miller buying camp fuel, which was found discarded inside the fire scene.
About two months after the incident, Miller contacted police and said he wanted to report a crime. He was charged in August 2019.