In Austin today, a federal jury convicted 45-year-old Terry Allen Miles for kidnapping two minors and taking them to Colorado, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division and Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks.
Jurors found Miles guilty on two counts of kidnapping, one count of transporting a minor with intent to engage in sex with her, and one count of interstate travel with intent to engage in sex with a minor. Evidence presented during trial revealed on December 30, 2017, Round Rock (TX) Police (RRPD) officers conducted a welfare check at the residence of Tonya Ellen Bates because she had not shown up for work that day as expected. The officers subsequently discovered Bates’s body inside the residence. Bates was the only individual at the residence at the time of the welfare check and Bates’s 2017 Hyundai Accent was missing. Further investigation revealed that Miles, who had lived with Bates and her two young daughters, may have kidnapped the daughters, whose whereabouts were unknown.
Bates’ death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma. Testimony at trial indicated that Miles likely killed Bates by bludgeoning her on the head with a heavy flashlight. DNA evidence indicated that Bates’ blood was found on one of Miles’ sneakers.
RRPD officers obtained cell phone information on the children’s two phones. One of the phones was located in a heavily wooded area adjacent to a Wal-Mart store located in Round Rock. Surveillance video from the Wal-Mart showed what appeared to be Miles purchasing numerous camping-related items and then leaving the store in a vehicle appearing to match Bates’s vehicle. The vehicle and a cell phone belonging to one of the minors were subsequently traced heading to Colorado. Evidence from security cameras and phone records showed the route Miles took from Round Rock to southern Colorado.
On January 3, 2018, deputies with the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Miles during a traffic stop near La Vera, Colorado. The two minors, ages 7 and 14, were found with Miles in the vehicle he took from Round Rock.
Testimony elicited during trial also revealed that Miles repeatedly engaged in sexual relations with the 14-year-old girl over a 5-month period prior to being arrested. DNA evidence indicated that Miles was the source of semen found in the 14 year old’s underwear that she was wearing at the time she was found. Miles was also shown to be the source of semen found on a towel at the remote campsite where they hid out after arriving in Colorado.
Miles faces between 20 years and life in federal prison. He remains in federal custody pending sentencing scheduled for 9:00am on April 25, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin.
“Today’s verdict represents justice for the child victims of Terry Miles,” said U.S. Attorney Bash. “ Mandatory minimums have been criticized recently, but I am glad that federal law requires defendants to serve at least 20 years—and up to life in prison—for these sorts of heinous acts against children.
“Thank you to our wonderful prosecution team – who worked without paychecks during the shutdown preparing for this trial – and to our partners at the FBI and the Round Rock Police Department,” Bash added.
“This investigation and subsequent prosecution, resulted from the exemplary collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement, across multiple states, leading to the safe recovery of two children,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs. “This effort not only exemplifies our commitment to prevent violent crimes against children, but it sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue and prosecute violent criminals who prey on the most vulnerable in our society.”
“I am pleased with the guilty verdict against Terry Miles. I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the men and women of the Round Rock Police Department and all our Law Enforcement partners who worked tirelessly on this case. Our prayers are that this verdict starts the healing process for the two victims,” stated Round Rock Police Chief Banks.
The FBI and the Round Rock Police Department are conducting this investigation. The U.S. Marshals Service – Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Texas Rangers; Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force; Williamson County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; United States Attorney’s Office – District of Colorado; New Mexico State Police Department; Las Animas County (CO) Sheriff’s Office; Southern Colorado Safe Streets Task Force; Colorado State Patrol; Trinidad (CO) Police Department; Colorado Bureau of Investigations; Huerfano County (CO) Sheriff’s Office; Archuletta County (CO) Sheriff’s Office; Pagosa Springs (CO) Police Department; Rio Grande County (CO) Sheriff’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation in Colorado; Durango (CO) Police Department; La Plata County (CO) Sheriff’s Office; Child Protective Services in Texas and Colorado; and, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children assisted in this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Devlin and Michelle Fernald are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.