Woman pleads guilty plea at court martial in Washington to killing 2 fellow soldiers

Monday, August 23, 2010

Woman pleads guilty to killing 2 fellow soldiers

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — A woman accused of killing two fellow soldiers and abducting their baby pleaded guilty Monday to murder and kidnapping charges to avoid a possible death penalty, an Army spokeswoman said.

Ivette G. Davila faces life in prison, but her court martial judge, Col. Stephen Henley, will decide whether her sentence will include the possibility of parole.

Henley accepted Davila’s guilty pleas to two counts of premeditated murder and one count of kidnapping, said Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokeswoman Catherine Caruso.

The government rested its sentencing phase case Monday evening, Caruso said. The defense was scheduled to begin its presentation Tuesday.

Davila was accused in the March 2008 shootings of Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller and Sgt. Randi Miller in the couple’s Parkland home. Davila, 24, of Bakersfield, Calif., poured muriatic acid over the bodies in a bathtub and took the couple’s baby girl unharmed, officials said.

Timothy Miller, 27, originally from Gardnerville, Nev., was an operations room specialist with the 47th Combat Support Hospital. Randi Miller, 25, originally from Lowell, Mass., was a medical laboratory specialist with the hospital.

The unit spent much of 2006 in Mosul and Tikrit in northern Iraq, treating wounded U.S. soldiers as well as Iraqi civilians. The couple had been married five years.

Before the Army took over the case from the Pierce County prosecutor’s office, a declaration filed in superior court in Tacoma said Davila claimed Randi Miller had a relationship with Davila’s ex-boyfriend.

Davila entered the military in December 2004. She underwent basic training as well as chemical operations training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., before reporting to what was then called Fort Lewis in June 2005. In 2006, she was reassigned to the I Corps Honor Guard.

The night of the shooting, Davila met the Millers at a Tacoma nightclub and went back to their home, where she shot Randi Miller twice in the head, then shot Timothy Miller four times as he showered, prosecutors said.

Court papers say she took the baby with her to a home improvement store where Davila bought muriatic acid and poured it on the bodies in the bathtub “to get rid of them.”

Returning to the barracks with the baby, Davila told another soldier she had “hurt people bad.”

At a hearing last year, Davila’s lawyers raised doubts about her mental competency. They said she reported hearing strange voices and seeing flashes of light.

Timothy Miller’s mother, Ami Gray of Gardnerville, Nev., is raising her granddaughter, Kassidy, who is nearly 3 years old.

Gray told The News Tribune of Tacoma the family was disappointed with the plea agreement.

“There are people who have done less than she has and have gotten the death penalty,” Gray said.

Information from: The News Tribune, The Seattle Times

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