Winston Earl Corbett Biography — Wiki
Winston Earl Corbett is an Indiana man who has been sentenced to 115 years in prison for fatally stabbing a college professor and leaving the man’s wife with nearly two dozen stab wounds during a home invasion in 2011. Corbett sentenced on Monday by an Elkhart Circuit Court judge to 65 years for murder and 50 years for attempted murder, with the terms to run consecutively.
Corbett was 16 in October 2011 when he fatally stabbed Goshen College biology professor James Miller, 58, and badly wounded Miller’s wife Linda, who was stabbed 23 times but survived.
Winston Earl Corbett Age
Winston Earl Corbett is 25 years old.
Winston Earl Corbett sentenced to 115 years in prison for stabbing a college professor to death
At sentencing, Judge Michael Christofeno blasted the crime, apparently a random home invasion, as ‘sadistic’ and handed down the maximum possible sentence. According to prosecutors, the attack unfolded after the killer slit a window screen and entered the home, first attacking Linda and then turning the knife on James as he rushed to help his wife.
James chased Winston Earl Corbett out of the home and was found dead in the driveway.
A jury convicted Corbett last month, following a trial in which he took the stand in his own defense, testifying that he had never been inside the Millers’ home and denying he committed the murder. There were no credible suspects for years after the attack, but Corbett was formally charged in November 2018 based on DNA found at the scene.
Two samples were recovered containing a mixture of Corbett’s and James Miller’s DNA, along with evidence containing only Corbett’s DNA.
Corbett, who served in the Navy after high school, only came to investigators’ attention after a familial DNA search pointed police in his direction. DNA from his trash, and later a sample provided by Corbett to investigators, matched samples taken from the scene.
Winston Earl Corbett Trial, Attorneys
At trial, Winston Earl Corbett testified that as a teen, he had ridden his bike on a path near the Miller home and knew the couple’s daughter, but denied ever entering their home. Grilled by the state one by one on the elements of the grisly crime, he denied each allegation.
Corbett’s attorneys argued that he did not match the description of the killer, whom Linda described at the time as in his mid to late 20s and possibly on meth.
Corbett testified that in 2011 he wore glasses and had braces. Linda testified that the killer did not have glasses on, but said she didn’t believe he opened his mouth, and so wasn’t sure if he had braces. The DNA evidence that tied Corbett to the scene was found on James’ shirt, the wall of the foyer baseboard, the door handle and the roadway.
The DNA evidence on the shirt, handle and the roadway was mixed with James’ DNA. However, the blood drop on the baseboard of the foyer was only Corbett’s, according to evidence presented at trial. The jury deliberated for roughly two-and-a-half hours before voting to convict Corbett.
Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Elaine Becker said Monday that ‘this crime would not likely have been solved’ without police investigators, who worked with Parabon NanoLabs, Inc to use genetic genealogy to tie the crime to Corbett.
What we know so far
Miller’s widow, sister and two daughters testified via video during Monday’s virtual hearing. Linda Miller said her husband’s slaying has left her with ‘a deep and enduring pain.’
‘There are many days that I want to die because I couldn’t stand the pain. There are also many days that I made plans to die because the pain was unbearable. The night we lost Jim, we lost a lot,’ she said.
Corbett, who did not address the court under the advice of his attorney, indicated that he intends to appeal his conviction and sentence.
With credit for good behavior, Corbett could be eligible for release in 2078, when he would be 83 years old.