PHOENIX — It was only a few hours until Angela Brosso's birthday. She would never see it.
On November 8, 1992, Angela Brosso was in her apartment with her boyfriend, Joe Krakowiecki. They'd watched television, and Angela decided she wanted to go for a bike ride instead. Joe stayed behind to bake her a birthday cake.
Hours later, Angela was still gone. She would never come back to the apartment near I-17 and Cactus Road.
“I saw it on the footage from the news," Krakowiecki said in court Tuesday. "The helicopter actually showed the body."
Brasso's body was found near her apartment complex, down by the Arizona Canal. She had been stabbed in the back, her stomach had been slit almost all the way around. Detectives said she had almost been cut in half. And she was decapitated.
“At the time, I really wasn't as cautious as I am today, so I really didn't even think about it, to be honest. It was just go for your bike ride," Krakowiecki said.
Krakowiecki was the first witness on the second day of Bryan Patrick Miller's murder trial.
Miller, known around the Valley as the Zombie Hunter for the costumes he would wear at conventions, is accused of murdering Brasso, 22, and Melanie Bernas, 17. Both bodies were found in roughly the same place, near Metrocenter Mall. Both were stabbed in roughly the same way, and police said both were sexually assaulted.
In court Tuesday, Krakowiecki testified about his search for Brasso that night. He said he went looking for her on the trails near the canal but never found anything.
Miller's attorneys have already admitted he killed Brosso and Bernas. But they maintain he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Miller's lawyers claim he suffers from a multitude of mental illnesses stemming from the abuse he suffered as a child. They also blame violent movies for causing that trauma. According to Miller's attorneys, he doesn't remember anything about the murders.
Phoenix police arrested Miller in 2015 after successfully matching his DNA to DNA found on both bodies.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.
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