Man pleads to lesser charges in rape, murder of elderly Winston-Salem woman

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Michael Dwayne Miller

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Police say a suspect who was arrested more than three years ago in connection with the 1990 rape and murder of an elderly Winston-Salem woman has plead guilty to lesser charges. 

According to police, Michael Dwayne Miller, 39, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and second-degree murder in the death of Thressa Nicholson. 

Police said Nicholson was 74 years old in August, 1990 when she was found strangled in her home at 408 Lakeview Blvd. 

The case went cold until August, 2009 when police used DNA evidence to identify Miller as the culprit.  At the time, Miller was already being held by the N.C. Department of Corrections on unrelated charges. 

Miller was initially charged with first-degree rape and first-degree murder in connection with Nicholson’s death. 

As a result of his plea, Miller was sentenced to 30 years in prison.  He must also register as a sex offender. 

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