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Death sentence in Ala. workplace shootings

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COLUMBIANA, Ala., June 18 -- An Alabama jury has recommended death in the electric chair for a 35-year-old truck driver convicted of killing three people last August at two separate businesses.

Jurors convicted Alan Eugene Miller of shooting two people at the heating and air-conditioning distributor where he worked in Pelham, a suburb south of Birmingham, and then driving five miles to shoot a worker at a specialty gas distributor where he had been laid off several months earlier.

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Jurors took only 21 minutes on Saturday to convict Miller of three counts of capital murder in the Aug. 5, 1999, shootings. His defense attorney, Mickey Johnson, did not present a defense during the trial, admitting that Miller fired the shots.

Miller had been working as a driver for Ferguson Enterprises for three months before the shootings. He was convicted of killing Scott Yancy and Lee Holdbrooks, two of Ferguson's 17 employees, and then driving to Post Airgas to kill Terry Jarvis.

After three hours of deliberations, the jury voted 10 to 2 to recommend the death penalty for Miller, who showed no emotion when the verdict was read. Shelby County Circuit Judge Al Crowson will make the final determination of Miller's sentence during the next 30 days.

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During the penalty phase of the trial, psychiatrist Charles Scott said Miller shot the men because he believed they were spreading rumors that he was gay. He said Miller was sane during the shootings, but "under the influence of an extreme or emotional disturbance."

The Alabama shootings took place a week after Mark Barton shot nine people to death at two day trading firms in Atlanta last year.

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