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Tag: davila


Davila faces death penalty

Spc. Ivette Davila

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of killing two of her comrades, trying to burn their bodies with acid and kidnapping their baby will face the death penalty at her court-martial.

Spc. Ivette Davila of Bakersfield, Calif., faces two specifications of premeditated murder for the March 2, 2008, slayings of Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller and Sgt. Randi Miller in the married couple’s Parkland home.

Davila also faces charges of burglary, kidnapping and obstruction of justice, Lewis-McChord announced Monday. No trial date has been set.

It will be the first capital case at Fort Lewis in recent memory, if ever.

Spc. Jamaal A. Lewis originally faced capital punishment for killing two people outside a Lakewood tavern on Labor Day 2005, but then-post commander Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik changed his mind about potential execution. Lewis was later sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
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Defense lawyers question Davila’s sanity

Spc. Ivette Davila reported seeing flashes of light, hearing strange voices and believing people were walking on the roof of her cell. She also called blood-stained sheets “yucky,” peppered letters with childish cartoon-like drawings and had a tendency to zone out.

The Fort Lewis soldier, defense lawyers said, doesn’t fit the description of a cold-blooded assassin – or perhaps even someone with an awareness of what she was doing when she killed two fellow soldiers last year.

“(There are) almost no answers in the area of sanity,” Maj. Carol Brewer said in the closing arguments of Davila’s Article 32 hearing Tuesday at Fort Lewis.

Davila is charged with killing Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller and Sgt. Randi Miller in their Parkland home March 2, 2008, trying to dispose of their bodies by soaking them with muriatic acid and kidnapping their 7-month-old daughter.

The defense conceded many facts of the case but said the two counts of premeditated murder – which could carry the death penalty – weren’t appropriate. And they alleged government interference derailed her chance at fully investigating mitigating circumstances.

Davila, a 23-year-old California native who was serving with the I Corps honor guard, also faces charges of kidnapping, burglary and obstruction of justice. An Article 32 hearing is the military equivalent of a grand-jury investigation. The investigating officer, Lt. Col. Andrew Efaw, will weigh the testimony and evidence and recommend what charges should be referred to a general court-martial.

Brig. Gen. Jeff Mathis, acting post commander, will review the recommendations and have the final say on the charges and whether to pursue the death penalty. The process could take several weeks.
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‘A cold, calculated crime’

Spc. Ivette Davila researched the effects of muriatic acid online. She asked her roommate to babysit the baby of the people she planned to kill. She went out the night of the killing to set up an alibi, and then planted a silenced pistol at the Parkland home of Staff Sgt. Timothy and Sgt. Randi Miller.

The Fort Lewis soldier then met the Millers at a downtown Tacoma bar, drank with them and returned to their house, where she killed both of them and kidnapped their 7-month-old daughter, Kassidy.

That’s the scenario that led to the deaths of the Millers on March 2, 2008, prosecutors said Monday on the first day of Davila’s Article 32 hearing.

“This wasn’t a crime of passion,” government attorney Capt. Dan Bentson said in his opening statement. “This was a cold, calculated crime.”

The defense, meanwhile, conceded many facts of the case but said the 23-year-old California native hasn’t been given the proper opportunity to mount a defense.

“The defense has never denied what happened that night,” attorney Maj. Carol Brewer said. “But because of many intervening causes, we’ve been unable to get to the real question, which is why.”
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