August 23, 2010 in Region

Guilty plea at Lewis-McChord in soldier killings

Associated Press

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — The Army says a woman accused of killing two fellow soldiers and kidnapping their baby pleaded guilty today to murder and kidnapping charges to avoid a possible death penalty.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokeswoman Catherine Caruso says the pleas from Ivette G. Davila were accepted by the judge, Col. Stephen R. Henley, at Monday’s court martial. She was to be sentenced later in the day to life in prison.

Davila was accused in the March 2008 shootings of Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller and Sgt. Randi Miller in the couple’s Parkland home.

Officials say Davila poured muriatic acid over the bodies in a bathtub and took the couple’s baby girl unharmed.

The 24-year-old from Bakersfield, Calif., also pleaded not guilty to a related burglary charge. Caruso says the government decided not to prosecute that charge, dismiss an obstruction of justice charge and take the possible death penalty off the table.

Timothy Miller was 27 and originally from Gardnerville, Nev. He was an operations room specialist with the 47th Combat Support Hospital.

Randi Miller was 25 and originally from Lowell, Mass. She was a medical laboratory specialist with 47th Combat Support 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 for 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 her 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 Fort Lewis in June 2005. In 2006, she was reassigned to the I Corps Honor Guard.

The night of the shooting, prosecutors said, 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.

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.

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