Stewart sentenced to 65 years for murdering tattoo shop business partner

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

According to The Elkhart Truth, Todd Stewart has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for the September 2012 murder of 44-year-old Mark Miller.

Miller's body was found stuffed inside a barrel floating along the St. Joseph River in Elkhart County.

He was found shot in the head and legs.

On May 1 at the Elkhart County Courthouse in Goshen, the jury found Stewart guilty of the murder.

After four days of trial, two testimonies Thursday, and then closing arguments, the jurors were charged with the task of determining whether or not all the evidence pointed to Stewart as the murderer.

He was interviewed just a few days after Miller went missing.

On Thursday, the jury saw video of that first interview, in which Stewart appeared casual, laughing and saying, "People don't just disappear."

Cell phone records from the night show the defendant was near the Six Span Bridge after midnight, just slightly east of where the barrel was found in the St. Joseph River.

Receipts from Meijer also show Stewart purchased a handcart at around that same time.

The lack of physical evidence led defense attorneys to argue that it was Matt Howard -- a coworker at the tattoo shop -- who killed Miller.

Howard testified Wednesday that he heard the gunshot and was then forced by Stewart to load the barrel -- with Miller's body inside -- to Stewart's house.

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