A 24-year-old soldier has pleaded guilty to killing two fellow soldiers and kidnapping their baby in March 2008.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — A 24-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to killing two fellow soldiers and kidnapping their baby in March 2008.
Army Spec. Ivette G. Davila, of Bakersfield, Calif., entered the pleas at the start of her court-martial for the fatal shootings of Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller, 27, and Sgt. Randi Miller, 25, in the couple’s Parkland home.
Army prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty against Davila, in exchange for her pleas to two counts of premeditated murder and one count each of kidnapping and obstruction of justice.
A military judge, Col. Stephen R. Henley, accepted the guilty pleas after questioning Davila for nearly three hours. The plea deal means Davila will be sentenced to life in prison, but the sentencing phase of her court-martial will determine whether she will be eligible for parole.
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The sentencing phase, which began Monday afternoon, is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.
Davila shot the couple, poured muriatic acid on their bodies and then kidnapped their 6-month-old daughter, Kassidy, who was found unharmed at a base barracks.
Kassidy, now nearly 3, is being raised by Timothy Miller’s mother, Ami Gray, of Gardnerville, Nev.
Authorities were led to Davila after she told a fellow soldier she was caring for the child because she had killed the Millers, according to court documents that were originally filed in Pierce County Superior Court before the Army asserted jurisdiction over the case.
Prosecutors alleged that Davila, who had been a specialist in the I Corps and a member of the Fort Lewis color guard, was angry with Randi Miller because she believed the woman was having an affair with Davila’s ex-boyfriend.
After the slayings, Davila cleaned the crime scene and took the baby to Home Depot, where she purchased muriatic acid, according to court papers. Davila then returned to the home and poured the acid on both bodies “to get rid of them,” court documents say.
Davila told Henley, the military judge, that she did not kill the Millers in a “fit of rage,” but instead had carefully planned out the slayings.
The night before, Davila packed a bag with clean clothes, her Glock handgun, a silencer and hollow-tipped bullets, she said during the court-martial. She said she then took a cab to the Millers’ house, where she dropped her bag off while the taxi waited. When the couple didn’t show up, she took the cab to a nightclub where she thought she would find them.
She had a couple of drinks, but was not intoxicated, she told the court. The couple wasn’t there, however, so she called them for a ride.
Randi Miller, according to Davila, picked her up and took her to the couple’s house, where Davila said she played video games with Timothy Miller and lay with the couple in their bed.
Around 5 a.m., Davila said, she retrieved her handgun, went into the bedroom and shot Randi Miller in the head.
She said she then went to the bathroom and shot Timothy Miller several times while he was in the shower.
Davila admitted to Henley she was aware that what she was doing was wrong.
“The Millers didn’t threaten me or give me cause to shoot them,” she said.
During the sentencing phase of Davila’s court martial, friends and relatives of the victims took the stand to testify about their loss.
They reminisced about the Millers and talked tearfully about how their lives have changed since the slayings.
“I wished I’d had the relationship they had,” said Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Bobbe, a close friend of the couple. “They were cheery, loving, kindhearted people, and after Kassidy was born, you could see a glow.”
Members of Davila’s family are expected to speak on her behalf Tuesday.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.