A Florida woman in prison for murdering a high school student with cerebral palsy over 20 years ago is possibly being released soon.
Tampa Bay Times reports that Georgia Miller was a teen herself when she and her then-boyfriend, David Sheren, killed Linda Bonck, a 90-pound teen who went to Chamberlain High School in Tampa. The friendly teen was lured and abducted by Sheren and Miller in 1992. They then stabbed the teen mercilessly until she died.
The U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decided that Miller could be released from prison within six years, although she was originally sentenced to serve life for Linda’s death. The possible release stems from the Supreme Court’s decision that it is unconstitutional to give juveniles life sentences.
On August 16, Miller’s attorney struck a plea deal on behalf of his client that Miller’s sentence would be reduced to 65 years. With “gain” time and credit served time, Miller could now be out of prison by 2023.
“I don’t think it’s good enough,” said Bonck’s father, Phil Golden, told the Tampa Bay Times. “But I guess my input doesn’t really matter. Life should be life. You should take your last breath in a jail cell.”
Assistant Public Defender Dana Herce explained in court on August 16 that Miller’s deal was already negotiated with the Florida State Attorney’s Office. Miller stood by Herce and said little as her lawyer spoke to Hillsborough Circuit Judge Thomas Barber.
“It is our position that she is entitled to the sentencing guidelines at the time of her offense back in 1992,” Herce continued.
Upon release, Miller will have served 29 years in prison. She’s required to undergo 15 years of probation once she is released.
The Murder of Linda Bonck
On December 8, 1992, Linda, a high school senior, was walking home from Chamberlain High School close to Tampa’s Lowry Park. Linda had cerebral palsy, which made walking a struggle. When she failed to return home from school, her parents became worried and called the police.
For weeks, authorities could not locate Linda. Eventually, a then-16-year-old Sheren contacted the police and led them to Linda’s lifeless body. Sheren said that his ex-girlfriend, Miller, 15 at the time, killed Linda.
When detectives questioned Miller, she pinned the crime on Sheren. The pair both changed their story on what happened numerous times. During Miller’s trial in 1994, she testified that after Sheran lured Linda into a home, he told her that he was no longer Miller’s boyfriend. Miller said she called Sheran into the kitchen afterwards, and demanded that he hit Linda.
He sat down for a few more minutes and then he just reached over and he hit her.”
Miller said Linda tried to get away after being punched, but Sheran followed her to bedroom, where he started punching her again, and then pulled out a knife and stabbed her multiple times.
“Because I loved him, and I did not want to be separated from him,” Miller explained when asked why she helped in the murder.
When the killing occurred, the State of Florida still allowed convicted killers the possibility of parole after 25 year. In 2016, however, the decision was reversed after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that juveniles shouldn’t get special treatment when they commit violent murders. Yet, the decision to release to Miller early stemmed from the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, based on Miller vs. Alabama, that ruled life without parole violated the Eighth Amendment.
“They had choices to make, and they made the wrong choice,” said Linda’s father, who feels Miller needs to spend her life behind bars.