Kansas woman testifies against boyfriend and pleads guilty to the death of her three-year-old son whose body was found encased in concrete
Miranda Miller pleaded guilty to lesser charges after striking a deal with prosecutors that saw her testify against boyfriend Stephen Bodine, who killed three-year-old Evans
A Wichita mother has pleaded guilty to the numerous charges brought against her in the death of her three-year-old son. The 37-year-old, Miranda Miller, was found to have tortured her son Evan Brewer for months before his death in May 2017 and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, child abuse, and aggravated child endangerment. A plea deal struck with prosecutors where she agreed to testify against her boyfriend, 41-year-old Stephen Bodine, means she is likely to face 29 years in prison.
According to the Daily Mail, investigators had access to over 16,000 photos and videos captured by surveillance systems set up in several locations in the couple's home that captured the abuse by both Miller and Bodine.
The system reportedly consisted of old cell phones that started recording when they detected motion and had given prosecutors ample evidence of their horrific mistreatment of the three-year-old boy.
Video and audio recordings played for the court revealed how the little boy was sometimes forced to stand naked in the basement of his home with his hands behind his back and a belt tightened around his neck. He was then taunted and slapped while he screamed and cried.
Miller acknowledged her role in the death but revealed during her testimony against Bodine that she put the belt around her son's neck because the 41-year-old told her that "children needed to be treated like dogs".
She said she spanked her son sometimes but that Bodine would "take over" if he "didn't feel like I was being hard enough on Evan".
In one of the recordings played in the court, the voice of a man, who Wichita police detective Christian Cory confirmed matched with Bodine's, can be heard taunting Evans, "That attitude, Evan? It’s done. And if it’s not going to be done, you’re going to be done."
The mother testified she was at home the day her son died, suggesting the three-year-old was killed while being punished for refusing to eat his food.
She said Bodine hit Evan so hard, the boy became unresponsive, and that despite her best efforts to revive him with CPR, he couldn't be saved.
She said that a few days later in the laundry room, Bodine mixed several bags of concrete and buried Evan's body in it. "Stephen wanted to hurry up and take care of Evan before he started to smell," she was quoted telling the court.
The murder came to light because Evan's biological father, Carlo Brewer, had been seeking custody of the three-year-old boy.
He had previously reported his son's abuse by Miller and Bodine at least six times to the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Wichita police. When he went to the couple's home looking for Evan, Bodine threatened him with a hatchet.
Miller was arrested four months after the boy's death on charges of aggravated interference with parental custody, and the body was uncovered a few days later when her landlord was cleaning out the property. She alerted police to "a suspicious concrete structure emitting an odor in the house".
When police extracted his body from the concrete block, it was already too badly decomposed for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
It would take the mother's testimony to reveal that the three-year-old was killed somewhere between May 18 and May 22 or May 23. Benadryl was also found in the boy's body, leading Miller to speculate that Bodine had sickened him in the days leading up to his death by force-feeding him large quantities of salt.
While Miller pleaded guilty to lesser charges because of her deal with prosecutors, Bodine was convicted of first-degree murder and now faces a lifetime behind bars during his sentencing hearing in December.