East Alton man sentenced in murder-for-hire

Chronicle Media

Lorenzo Miller

An East Alton man was sentenced to 29 years in prison for directing an acquaintance to open fire on his ex-girlfriend. 

Lorenzo Miller, 42, received the sentence Tuesday, May 21 in Madison County Circuit Court. In April, a trial jury found Miller guilty of solicitation of murder and obstructing justice. 

The home of Miller’s ex-girlfriend on Brown Street in Alton came under a barrage of gunfire on March 26, 2023. No one was injured in the gunfire, but one bullet went through a sweater worn by a friend of the ex-girlfriend, lightly grazing the friend’s torso. 

Assistant State Attorney Morgan Hudson, in her closing argument at trial, told jurors that Miller was upset about his ex-girlfriend breaking up with him. Hudson argued that Miller “couldn’t let her go,” but knew that if anything happened to the woman, he would be a prime suspect. 

“He couldn’t get his hands dirty,” Hudson argued. 

Alton police, using data from automated license plate readers, established that a vehicle with Missouri license plates, being used by an associate of Miller, was in the vicinity of the victim’s home at the time of the gunfire. 

In addition, Alton detectives extracted data from phones to establish that Miller and the associate communicated just minutes before and after gunfire at the home. 

At Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Hudson asked the judge to impose a lengthy prison term. She noted that in messages sent between Miller and the associate, the two spoke about how the target was “lucky” she didn’t get shot. Hudson said the two spoke about the associate, Vernon McIntosh, needing to return to finish the job. 

“Luckily, the police caught up with Vernon before he could finish the job he set out to do … Luckily, they were able to connect Vernon to this defendant, who thought he was smarter than everyone,” Hudson argued, “but he wasn’t. He was caught. He’s been convicted. His luck has run out.” 

Circuit Judge Kyle Napp imposed the sentence. Miller was sentenced to 29 years in prison for solicitation of murder and three years in prison for obstructing justice, with the sentences to run concurrently. 

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine commended Assistant State’s Attorneys Hudson and Lauren Maricle for their work on the case. He also commended Alton police and other agencies that assisted in the investigation, along with the witnesses, whose cooperation and testimony secured the conviction.  

McIntosh, 38, of St. Louis, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm and arson. He is awaiting trial.