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Two convicted in 2012 murder of Hawthorne man

A man and woman have been convicted of burglary, conspiracy and murder in the beating death of a Hawthorne man in late 2012. 

John Woods, a 50-year-old black man, died Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, after he was beaten in the 3600 block of 126th Street in Hawthorne, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Woods was sleeping on the couch of a friend’s apartment on Sunday, Dec. 23, when a man and woman came in around 1 a.m., Hawthorne Police Det. The Vu said. 

The woman, Debra Lynn Miles, 51, knew Woods, who sold methamphetamine, Vu said. Investigators think Miles brought the man, Marques Montrail Borney, to help her rob Woods of his money and drugs.

Borney hit Woods in the head multiple times with his fists and a bottle before the couple left, Vu said.

Woods was taken to a hospital with a skull fracture and bleeding in his skull, Vu said. He was pronounced dead five days later, according to coroner’s records. 

Borney and Miles were arrested Jan. 2, 2013, along with Stephanie Yvette Jackson, whom authorities said was the getaway driver.

All three were charged with murder, robbery, burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime. Borney also initially was charged with assault and battery, which later was dismissed. 

A jury acquitted Jackson of all charges on Nov. 20, 2014.

Borney was found guilty of murder, burglary and conspiracy on Aug. 13, 2015, and is scheduled for a probation and sentencing hearing on July 17. 

Miles was found guilty of all four charges on Nov. 19, 2014. On Jan. 15, 2016, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder, plus an additional 15 years in prison for the other convictions, according to court records. 

Woods was divorced with no children, Vu said. His only surviving relative was his mother, who lived in Gardena.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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