Miller sentenced to 30 years for murder of Waynesboro woman

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (Feb. 15, 2019):

A Waynesboro man who pleaded guilty last year to murdering 25-year-old Rachel Brown will serve more than 30 years behind bars.

According to court documents, 36-year-old Miller entered guilty pleas to both first degree murder and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony in October.

On February 15, he was sentenced to 30 years and 11 months in prison.

Miller was arrested the morning after the murder when police were asked to do a welfare check on Brown and found her dead in her apartment. Police found blood on and near the front door, detained Miller, and while they held him and did a protective sweep, found Brown's body.

In court, Miller's defense called witnesses to testify to his character, including about his time in the National Guard.

Miller also took the stand himself, saying he apologizes for his actions and thinks about them every day.

"Words can't describe how I'm feeling," he said.

The prosecution called the murder an "intentional, brutal crime."

According to friends of Brown, she had posted videos to her Facebook page just the day before the murder, saying she had been threatened with a knife and feared for her life.

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UPDATE (Oct. 22 2018):

A Waynesboro man pleaded guilty on Monday to murdering 25-year-old Rachel Brown earlier this year.

According to court documents, 36-year-old Jonathan Owen Miller entered guilty pleas to both first degree murder and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Miller was arrested in February after police were asked to do a welfare check on Brown and found her dead in her apartment at 205 Bookerdale Road, with blood on and near the front door.

They found Miller inside and arrested him at the scene.

According to friends of Brown, she had posted videos to her Facebook page just the day before, saying she had been threatened with a knife and feared for her life.

Miller will be sentenced in court on February 15, 2019.

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UPDATE (7:50 p.m. Feb. 1):

Waynesboro Police arrested a man in connection to a woman's death on Thursday morning.

Jonathan Owen Miller, 36, has been charged with second-degree murder of 25-year-old Rachel Elizabeth Brown.

On Thursday morning, police said they were asked to do a welfare check on Brown at an apartment at 205 Bookerdale Road in Waynesboro. Police said they found blood on and near the front door of the apartment and found Miller inside. Miller was detained and while officers were doing a protective sweep, they found Brown's body.

Miller is locked up at Middle River Regional Jail without bond.

The investigation remains active and more charges could be filed, according to police.

Friends of Brown say she had posted videos to her Facebook page just the day before, saying she had been threatened with a knife and feared for her life.

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ORIGINAL STORY (9 a.m. Feb. 1):

Waynesboro police officers are on scene of a suspected homicide in the 200 block of Bookerdale Road.

This is off of Route 250 (W. Main St.) behind Westwood Village and the Kmart in Waynesboro.

When officers arrived at about 7 a.m. on Thursday, they found one woman dead.

A male suspect was detained and officers remain at the scene as part of an active homicide investigation.

WHSV's Avery Powell talked with people who live in the community. One man lives in the same building where the homicide occured, but said he didn't hear anything. Another resident, who lives in a separate building in the community, says the neighborhood has been nice.

"We only been here about a month and it's been pretty quiet. People that's downstairs and around, [they've been] friendly," said Jason Wheeler.

Wheeler said he has seen police near that apartment before.

"[We were] just coming down and noticed that there was cops here and basically just told us to go back in," said Wheeler.

Police could not confirm whether they had been in the area before the suspected homicide occurred.

Authorities have not provided any additional information at this time, but investigation continues.

This is a developing story. Stay with WHSV for updates.