A Fort Lewis, Wash., soldier who allegedly killed two fellow soldiers off post Saturday and poured acid on their bodies to dispose of them was transferred to military custody Wednesday.
The Seattle Times reported in Wednesday editions that Army Spc. Ivette Gonzalez Davila, 22, was expected to be charged with aggravated first-degree murder, which could have resulted in the death penalty.
But Pierce County put out a news release on Wednesday, saying that Prosecuting Attorney General Gerald Horne agreed that the U.S. Army has a strong interest in prosecuting the case, “because both victims were active duty, as are Ms. Davila and the most important witnesses in this case.”
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and military police had been jointly investigating the slayings of Timothy and Randi Miller in their Parkland, Wash., home. Police and prosecutors allege Davila shot the couple, then kidnapped their 6-month-old daughter, who was recovered unharmed Sunday at Fort Lewis.
Davila has been moved to the Bangor Naval Submarine Base, according to Fort Lewis spokeswoman Catherine Caruso.
Military authorities have not preferred charges against Davila, but were expected to make a decision later on Wednesday, Caruso said.
Pierce County prosecutors had alleged that Davila bought muriatic acid from a home-improvement store and poured it on the bodies to dispose of them.
Timothy Miller, 27, was apparently shot in a bathtub at the couple’s suburban Parkland home, while Randi Miller, 25, was shot on a bed and then moved to the bathtub, prosecutor Ed Murphy wrote in a court declaration.
According to the declaration, Davila took the baby to a Home Depot after the killings, bought muriatic acid, returned to the home and poured it on the bodies in the bathtub.
Murphy wrote that Davila showed up at her barracks on Sunday afternoon with the baby and initially told a fellow soldier that she was baby-sitting. Eventually, she confessed to the soldier that she had killed the baby’s parents the night before, Murphy wrote.
The soldier reported what Davila had said to military police, who arrested her and turned her over to Pierce County authorities.
The baby was not harmed and is now in the care of the state’s Child Protective Services.
Davila told the soldier that “Randi Miller was in a relationship with Davila’s ex-boyfriend,” Murphy said in his declaration.
Murphy said investigators had found a Home Depot receipt for the acid, a pistol and Randi Miller’s purse in a search of the barracks.
If a court-martial is deemed necessary, Caruso said, the next step would be an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding, to see what charges were appropriate.
The military has a death penalty, but the last military person executed was in 1961.
Davila, originally from Bakersfield, Calif., is a specialist in I Corps and a member of the Fort Lewis color guard.
On March 3, Timothy Miller, an operating-room specialist, was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant of the 47th Combat Support Hospital 62nd Medical Brigade, the Times reported. Randi Miller, a sergeant, was a medical laboratory specialist assigned to Company C, Madigan Army Medical Center. She served eight months in Iraq in 2006, the Army told the Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.