To save her own life, Fort Lewis Army Spec. Ivette Davila today entered a guilty plea to the 2008 slayings of two of her friends, Staff Sgt. Timothy Miller, 27, and Sgt. Randi Miller, 25, in their Parkland home where she also disfigured them with acid and kidnapped their child. The plea at the start of a scheduled three-day court martial was dependent on an agreement with prosecutors to not seek the death penalty. Davila, 24, will likely spend the rest of her life in prison.
A military judge, Col. Stephen R. Henley, accepted the plea deal after questioning Davila for nearly three hours. The sentencing phase of Davila's court martial is now scheduled to begin Monday afternoon. She will be sentenced to life in prison, but the sentencing phase will determine whether she will be eligible for parole.
Davila, a chemical specialist, shot the couple, dragged them into the bathtub, and poured acid on their bodies. Their six-month-old daughter Kassidy was later found unharmed in Davila's barracks, where Davila admitted the shootings to a fellow soldier.
In an earlier Article 32 hearing, Davila's attorneys - noting her "junior high" behavior, her description of the bloody evidence as "yucky," and her irrational acts that included going to a home supply store to buy the acid - said these were not the actions of a cold-blooded killer.
But prosecutor Capt. Grady Leupold called her "an extraordinarily lethal assassin who coldly, methodically and deliberately executed Staff Sgt. Miller and his wife, Sgt. Miller. They so underestimated her [friendship] that they never believed that they would end up bullet-ridden and submerged in muriatic acid in their bathtub."