A Lawrence County teenager will spend the rest of his life in prison for his part in the death of Cole Cannon in 2003.

On Friday, Circuit Court Judge Philip Reich sentenced Evan Miller, 17, to life in jail without the possibility of parole after a jury returned a verdict of capital murder against Miller earlier in the day.

Miller's accomplice in the murder, Colby Smith, 19, pleaded guilty to felony murder and agreed to testify against Miller. Smith was sentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for a parole review in 10 years.

Cannon, 52, died after he was beaten with a baseball bat in his mobile home and it was set on fire at Country Living Trailer Park near Five Points on July 15, 2003. Cannon had been living there for less than a month said Lawrence County District Attorney Jim Osborn.

According to testimony during the trail, Miller and Smith allegedly stole $350 in cash and a baseball collection from Cannon before the beating.

The fire was set to cover the beating and the robbery. Smith testified that he was staying with Miller at Miller's mobile home on the night Cannon was killed.

During the evening Cannon came to Miller's trailer to ask for something to eat. Cannon was intoxicated according to Smith.

Smith said the pair went Cannon's mobile home while Cannon was at Miller's residence. That is when they stole the baseball card collection.

Later they returned to the mobile home with Cannon supposedly to play drinking games. At one point a joint was smoked.

Smith testified that after Cannon passed out, Miller took Cannon's wallet from his pocket and stole the money. Cannon woke up and Miller began to choke him Smith said.

Smith testified that Miller picked up a baseball bat and began hitting Cannon with it.

According to Smith, Miller jumped on Cannon and at one point said 'Cole, I'm God and I've come to take your life.'"

After the beating, Miller and Smith left the mobile home but returned a few minutes later. At this time, Miller told Smith to set a fire. Fire was set at two different places in the mobile home.

Smith said he heard Cannon moaning and he attempted to put out the fire but the pair then left Cannon in the burning mobile home.

They returned a few minutes later and Smith saw smoke when he opened the back door and he heard Cannon coughing.

Smith said Miller stopped him when he attempted to go back inside Cannon's mobile home.

Speake firefighters found Cannon's badly burned body near the mobile home's back door after the fire was out.

Medical Examiner Adam Craig testified Wednesday that a contusion on Cannon's forehead and a number of broken ribs were found during an autopsy. The official cause of death was smoke inhalation but the beating was a contributing factor. Miller pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect. The defense tried to establish that Miller's childhood was one of abuse and neglect.

At his sentencing, Miller mumbled an apology to Cannon's family which his oldest daughter, Candy Cheatham, did not accept.

Miller was convicted of capital murder. Although capital murder charges carry the possibility of the death sentence, Miller did not face execution. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles who were under the age of 18 when they committed a crime cannot be sentenced to death. They can be sentenced to life without parole. Smith pleaded guilty to felony murder.

Osborn explained that capital murder means intent to kill the victim. Felony murder means that a murder was committed during the execution of a felony such as robbery.

Osborn said there was evidence that showed Smith did attempt to put out the fire.

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