A Fort Lewis soldier accused of killing two other soldiers, pouring acid over their bodies and kidnapping their baby last year will appear at an Article 32 hearing Monday.
Spc. Ivette G. Davila is being tried in connection with the March 1, 2008, deaths of Staff Sgt. Timothy J. Miller and Sgt. Randi Miller, a married couple assigned to Fort Lewis medical units.
The 23-year-old California native faces premeditated murder, burglary, kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges. If convicted of all charges, she could be executed or face life in prison. She also could receive a reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge.
An Article 32 hearing is the military version of a grand-jury hearing. The prosecutors and defense present their evidence and question witnesses before an investigating officer, who will then make a recommendation on charges and level of court-martial. Brig. Gen. Jeff Mathis, the acting post commander, has the final say about what charges Davila will face and whether prosecutors should seek the death penalty.
The hearing is expected to last three days.
Pierce County sheriff’s detectives arrested Davila on March 2, 2008, a day after the couple was killed in their Parkland home. Law enforcement officials say Davila shot the two soldiers, put their bodies in a bathtub and poured muriatic acid on them in an attempt to conceal the killings.
At the Army’s request, the Pierce County prosecutor’s office turned the case over to military officials three days after Davila’s arrest. Pierce County said it turned over the case “because both victims were on active duty, as are Ms. Davila and the most important witnesses in the case.”
Davila has since been held in the brig at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Civilian authorities say they believe Davila, a chemical operations specialist, may have been involved in a love triangle with another male soldier, and that Davila attacked the Millers after the other man chose Randi Miller over her.
Davila, from Bakersfield, Calif., was serving in the post’s honor guard, escorting the colors and representing the Army at functions across the Northwest.
In a search warrant, county deputies said Davila called 911 on March 2, 2008, and told the dispatcher she shot two people off post. Military policemen and deputies went to the Millers’ home.
Investigators believe Davila broke into the house in the 700 block of 110th Street South, shot Randi Miller in her bed before shooting Timothy Miller in the shower. They believe she then took the baby, went to a home-improvement store to purchase the acid and a respirator, returned to the home and poured the acid on the bodies.
Muriatic acid, which can give off dangerous fumes, is used to clean masonry and other building materials and is widely available at hardware stores.
She later returned to her barracks, authorities said, and after getting a friend to help her with the child, confided to him what had happened. The friend, Aaron Nelson, told Army investigators about what he learned, court documents state.
Army investigators and county detectives went to the Millers’ home and found the couple dead in the bathtub, according to court records. They seized two computers, a shower curtain, bedding, three bullets and two shell casings, a search warrant states.
Detectives recovered a .40-caliber Glock pistol, 100 rounds of ammunition, Kassidy Miller’s baby car seat and a plastic jug of muriatic acid from Davila’s room in the barracks, investigators said in search warrants.