COLUMBIA -- A Columbia man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a torture, robbery and murder in Aiken.
U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon said the sentence for Antonio Miller, 40, also includes five years of supervised release.
Miller pleaded guilty last year in connection with the torture, robbery and murder of Fred Tucker in Aiken. Specifically, Miller pleaded to using a firearm to commit murder in furtherance of a crime of violence and drug trafficking, kidnapping resulting in death; and conspiring to distribute crack cocaine resulting in death. U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis imposed the sentence.
Court hearings revealed that on Sept. 15, 2008, Miller and three co-confederates targeted Fred Tucker to rob him of drugs and drug proceeds to further their ongoing efforts to distribute crack cocaine.
Miller and the others drove in a rental car to Tucker’s house in Aiken. Carrying multiple firearms, these four men entered Tucker’s home, subdued and restrained Tucker, binding his hands and feet with duct tape, before repeatedly burning him with a scalding flathead screwdriver.
After Tucker was tortured in order to learn the location of hidden drugs and drug proceeds, he was fatally shot in the chest. Through the work of local law enforcement, searches of the rental car and Miller’s own residence revealed crack cocaine taken from Tucker and firearms that ballistically matched those used to murder Tucker.
After his co-defendants pleaded guilty, a state-court jury convicted Miller of kidnapping, murder and related charges before South Carolina Circuit Judge Doyet A. "Jack" Early III. On appeal in 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed the conviction.
As part of a longstanding history of cooperation with 2nd Circuit Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr., federal authorities indicted Miller in 2017. After U.S. District Judge Lewis denied Miller’s attempts to suppress evidence of the murder, Miller agreed to plead guilty and be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the FBI, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the North Augusta Department of Public Safety and the United States Marshal’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J.D. Rowell prosecuted the case, along with assistance from Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Ann Young of the 2nd Circuit Solicitor’s Office.