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TARZANA : Man Gets Life in Businessman's Killing

July 08, 1993|THOM MROZEK

The day after a jury was unable to reach a decision in the trial of his co-defendant, an ex-convict from Fountain Valley was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the murder of a Burbank business owner.

Daniel Joseph Miller, 47, filed papers stating his intention to appeal his conviction immediately after the sentence was handed down by Superior Court Judge Sandy Kriegler.

But the judge expressed doubts that Miller would be successful.

"Frankly, it was a very clean trial," Kriegler said. "I don't think there are any issues (to be considered) on appeal."

Miller was found guilty two weeks ago of murdering 23-year-old Stefan Sweetser, the co-owner of Visions Doors & Windows in Burbank. Sweetser was shot in the back of the head execution-style at a remote Reseda Boulevard site near Mulholland Drive in Tarzana on Oct. 16.

A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the case of David Thayne Smith, 34, the co-owner of Visions Doors & Windows who is also charged with Sweetser's murder. The jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked 6 to 6.

A new trial date for Smith will be set on July 21. If convicted on all charges, Smith would also receive the life-without-parole sentence.

Evidence presented at the trials for both defendants indicated that all three men related to this case had been burglarizing San Fernando Valley construction sites and selling the loot at the Burbank retail store.

Prosecutors argued that Miller and Smith conspired to split up thousands of dollars in computer equipment the trio had stolen.

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