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Brittany MILES

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Prosecutors charged Miles with first-degree felony murder because the crash happened while she was escaping from a DUI arrest. Under Florida law, someone is guilty of that type of murder if a death occurs while the person is committing a felony such as escape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 10, 2011
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1990
Victim profile: Motorcyclist Henry McCain, 66
Method of murder: Fatal crash
Location: Hernando County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without parole on March 7, 2013
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo gallery
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brittany Miles convicted of murder, gets life in prison

By Tony Marrero - TampaBay.com

March 7, 2013

BROOKSVILLE The prosecutor repeated three words as he peppered Brittany Miles with questions about what happened the day she killed motorcyclist Henry McCain.

"Voluntarily" was one. "Free will" were the others.

"All these actions that you did, you did voluntarily, didn't you?" Assistant State Attorney Bill Catto asked the 23-year-old Spring Hill woman on Thursday, the fourth day of her murder trial in Hernando County Circuit Court.

"Yes," a tearful Miles replied.

"And if you had not done those things, Mr. McCain would be alive today, would he not?"

"Yes," she said. "He would."

Seven hours later, a jury convicted Miles of first-degree felony murder. The 12-member panel reached the verdict after deliberating for about 90 minutes.

Miles hung her head, leaned on the defense table and cried. A few minutes later, Circuit Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr. levied the sentence required by law: life in prison with no chance of parole.

"It is indeed a sad day, and I have presided over no more unfortunate case," Merritt said. "There is one life gone and essentially another about to be so."

Miles was the only defense witness to take the stand and answer questions about May 10, 2011, the day she drove her Dodge Ram pickup through a busy intersection at the Pasco-Hernando line and slammed into McCain. The 66-year-old funeral director, on his way to meet friends in Hudson, was killed instantly.

Prosecutors in Hernando charged Miles with first-degree felony murder because the crash happened while she was escaping from a DUI arrest in Pasco County. Under Florida law, someone is guilty of that type of murder if a death occurs while the person is committing a felony such as escape.

Miles' attorneys, Aaron Delgado and Robert Rawlins III, argued that her escape ended in Pasco, so there was no legal basis for the first-degree charge. They told the jury she is guilty of third-degree murder, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term.

Miles testified Thursday that she became addicted to oxycodone after a doctor prescribed the drug for pain from a car accident. She took a job dancing at a Port Richey strip club called the Brass Flamingo to pay for her drug habit.

Miles woke up at someone else's house in Pasco the morning of the crash and left for a court hearing involving her young son.

"All I know is that if I wasn't (in court) that morning, they were going to take custody of my son from me," she said.

Pasco County sheriff's Deputy Ashley Grady stopped Miles on U.S. 19 in Hudson about 7:30 a.m. Miles quickly moved eight or nine Xanax pills from her purse to her underwear. She was taking the drug for anxiety, she said, but didn't have a prescription.

She failed sobriety tests and was arrested. Seated in the back of Grady's patrol car, she slipped her right hand out of one of the handcuffs, grabbed the Xanax pills and swallowed them. She said she was feeling the effects of the drugs when she reached her hand out the open rear window, lifted the door handle and ran back to her truck.

Miles said she remembers Grady jumping onto the truck and leaning into the open driver's-side window. She denied elbowing the deputy, causing her to hit the pavement, as Grady testified.

"I didn't know she was hurt," Miles said. "If I did, I would have stopped."

She said she remembers little about the ensuing 7-mile chase that reached speeds of 100 mph. But she said she won't forget maneuvering around a truck stopped at a red light at County Line Road and seeing McCain in the intersection.

"I slammed on my brakes," Miles said, her voice breaking, tears streaming down her red face. "I swerved. I tried to miss him, but I didn't."

Miles drove nearly a mile up the highway, then jumped out of the mangled truck and ran a short distance before a deputy tackled her.

For her actions in Pasco, Miles was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison after being convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, fleeing and eluding, and DUI. During those proceedings, Miles' relatives said she was a compassionate person and good mother before the pill addiction changed her.

On Thursday, Rawlins asked Miles if she wanted to say something to McCain's family. His widow, Anita, and daughter, Kellie, were seated in the gallery.

As Catto objected to the question, Miles uttered one sentence: "I just want to tell them I'm sorry."

Later, Merritt asked Miles questions submitted by jurors. One of the questions: You said you would have stopped if you knew Deputy Grady was hurt, so why didn't you stop after you hit the motorcycle?

Miles' face contorted, and she began to cry again.

"I didn't realize at the time how serious the accident was," she said. "I did run, and I don't know why."

As bailiffs handcuffed her, Miles looked over at her parents and mouthed the words: I love you. Edward and Debra Miles, who is a Hernando sheriff's deputy, declined to comment to reporters.

Anita McCain called the life sentence justice finally done.

"It's tough, I know," she said of the life term. "But a life was taken, and she had to pay."

 
 

Trooper testifies in Hernando murder case of Brittany Miles

By Tony Marrero - TampaBay.com

March 6, 2013

BROOKSVILLE Speeding north with deputies in pursuit, Brittany Miles hit the brakes and skidded into a motorcyclist two years ago, a traffic homicide investigator told a jury Wednesday.

Even with the brakes, though, Miles' red Dodge Ram was traveling at least 66 mph when it slammed into Henry McCain and his Suzuki the morning of May 10, 2011, Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. Vincent Parnell testified.

"She was probably driving a little faster because this is a minimum speed," Parnell said after a defense attorney asked how much room for error there is in the formula investigators use to determine a vehicle's speed at the time of impact.

McCain, 66, of Spring Hill, died at the scene. Miles, also of Spring Hill, is now on trial for first-degree felony murder and aggravated fleeing to elude law enforcement.

On Tuesday, Miles and her attorneys conceded in open court that she is guilty of murder. But the facts of the case warrant a third-degree charge, not first-degree, her attorneys said.

Miles' chance to experience freedom again will be in the hands of the 12-member jury. If found guilty as charged, she faces a mandatory life sentence.

Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Miles was on her way to a custody hearing involving her young son when she was stopped in Hudson and arrested on a DUI charge. As deputies filled out paperwork, the former stripper slipped out of her handcuffs, reached out an open patrol car window, lifted the door handle and fled to her truck. The deputy who stopped her managed to cling to the truck for a while before falling to the pavement.

Deputies and civilian witnesses took the stand Tuesday and described watching in horror as the Ram sped through a red light at County Line Road and hit McCain as he tried to turn south onto U.S. 19.

On Wednesday, Parnell used a diagram to explain what he found when he arrived.

The truck hit McCain about 20 feet north of the Hernando-Pasco line, Parnell said. The motorcycle slid north, leaving gouge marks in the pavement. His leg severed, McCain flew into the air.

One of the Ram's tires left a 98-foot-long skid mark before the truck careened into the grass of the east shoulder and struck a road sign and a concrete culvert, Parnell testified. At least one of the tires was flat when the truck swerved back onto the highway.

The Ram stopped nearly a mile north of the crash site. The front grill was gone, the right front tire shredded. Both airbags had deployed, Parnell said.

Miles got out and ran a short distance before a Pasco deputy tackled her.

For her actions in Pasco, Miles was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison after being convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, fleeing and eluding, and DUI.

Under Florida law, someone is guilty of first-degree murder when committing one or more certain felonies that result in death. One of those felonies is escape.

Prosecutors contend the entire episode constituted one long escape, from the moment Miles slipped out of her handcuffs to the time a deputy tackled her in Hernando. Miles' attorneys say her escape ended in Pasco, so there is no legal basis for the first-degree murder charge.

As he cross-examined Parnell, defense attorney Aaron Delgado tried to raise the possibility that the crash occurred in Pasco by asking the corporal if he did a survey to confirm the location was north of the county line.

"The accident happened in Hernando County," Parnell replied.

No other witnesses testified Wednesday due to scheduling issues. Testimony is expected to end today.

Defense attorneys have said Miles will take the stand.

 
 

Lawyer in Brittany Miles murder trial says first-degree charge is not justified

By Tony Marrero - TampaBay.com

March 5, 2013

BROOKSVILLE As he chased the red pickup truck toward the busy intersection, Pasco County sheriff's Deputy Chris Greifenberger saw the man on the motorcycle and hoped.

"I was hoping he was going to see what was going on and hear the sirens," Greifenberger testified Tuesday. "I saw his head turn and look right at the truck."

By then, it was too late.

On the second day of her trial in Hernando County Circuit Court, 23-year-old Brittany Miles conceded she is guilty of murder for what happened next.

Barreling north on U.S. 19 with two patrol cars in pursuit, the Spring Hill woman drove the Dodge Ram through a gap in traffic that had stopped at a red light at County Line Road. The truck slammed into 66-year-old Henry McCain as he steered his 2009 Suzuki into the intersection.

Miles, a former stripper, admits to the series of choices that resulted in McCain's death, her attorney Aaron Delgado said during his opening statement. But Miles is not guilty of first-degree felony murder, as prosecutors allege, Delgado said.

"Brittany Miles will never dispute that she is 100 percent responsible for (McCain's) death, and she should be punished and found guilty of a crime," Delgado said. "What the evidence will show you is she is guilty of third-degree felony murder."

Later, Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr. asked Miles if she believed that conceding to third-degree felony murder was in her best interest.

"Yes, sir," she replied.

The distinction is important. If the 12-member jury convicts Miles as charged, she faces a mandatory life sentence. The lesser charge of third-degree murder carries a maximum prison term of 15 years.

On May 10, 2011, Miles was under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol when she escaped from Pasco Deputy Ashley Grady's patrol car after being arrested on a DUI charge. Miles ran back to her truck, handcuffs dangling from her left wrist. As she sped away, Grady jumped onto the running board of the truck and urged Miles to stop.

Grady testified Tuesday that Miles elbowed her while traveling about 70 mph, sending her to the pavement. Miles continued north, leading deputies on a roughly 7-mile chase at speeds up to 100 mph.

During his opening statement, Assistant State Attorney Sonny McCathran said the chase didn't end when the mangled truck would go no farther and rolled to a stop just north of County Line Road. Miles bailed out and ran, with Greifenberger in pursuit.

"She was yelling that she didn't do anything wrong and she wasn't drunk," Greifenberger testified later in the day. After he tackled her, "She was still trying to pull away."

For her actions in Pasco, Miles was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison after being convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, fleeing and eluding, and DUI.

Under Florida law, someone is guilty of first-degree murder when committing one or more certain felonies that result in death. One of those felonies is escape. Prosecutors are using Miles' escape conviction as a basis for her Hernando murder charge.

Delgado told the jury that Miles' escape ended in Pasco County. Therefore, he said, McCain's death was not caused while she was escaping.

Miles' attorneys tried unsuccessfully to prevent jurors from viewing grisly photos of the crash scene. One woman at the intersection that day broke down on the witness stand when asked to describe what she saw.

At one point during testimony, Henry McCain's widow, Anita, and the couple's daughter, Kellie, wiped tears. Across the aisle, Edward Miles put his arm around his wife, Debra, and pulled her close as she dabbed her eyes with a tissue.

Seated at the defense table, their daughter did, too.

Miles is also charged in Hernando with aggravated fleeing to elude law enforcement. Earlier Tuesday, Merritt denied a defense motion to dismiss that charge, disagreeing with the argument that it violates Miles' constitutional protection from being tried twice for the same crime.

Testimony is scheduled to end Thursday. Delgado said Miles will testify in her own defense.

 
 

Brittany Miles gets 15 years in prison on Pasco charges

By Erin Sullivan - TampaBay.com

December 4, 2012

NEW PORT RICHEY Brittany Miles raised her head and looked across the courtroom at the deputy she hurt. The two women are nearly the same age. Miles is 22. Pasco Deputy Ashley Grady is 24. Miles' attorney had told her not to talk to Grady until now, when it was all over. On Tuesday, Miles asked for forgiveness.

"I wanted to tell you I am sorry for what happened," Miles said. "I did not mean to hurt you and I am sorry and I just want you to know that."

On May 10, 2011, Miles was a 21-year-old stripper high on prescription drugs when she escaped from Grady's patrol car during a DUI stop in Hudson. Miles jumped into her truck as Grady, in close pursuit, climbed onto the sideboard. Miles sped off with Grady clinging on. Grady said Miles shoved her out of the truck at 70 mph, sending her onto U.S. 19, crumpled with a head injury and a broken leg. Miles continued north, leading deputies on a 100-mph chase that ended with Miles' truck hitting and killing a Hernando motorcyclist, Henry McCain, authorities said.

Miles will have a trial in Hernando County next year for McCain's death.

In the Pasco portion of the chase, she was convicted last month of battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, fleeing and eluding, and DUI.

Tuesday was her sentencing. According to guidelines, she faced anywhere from 25 months to 35 years in prison.

"I am just asking for a second chance," Miles pleaded, weeping. "That's it. I made a mistake. I messed up."

Circuit Judge Michael Andrews sentenced her to 15 years.

"At some point, you will get out," he told Miles. "Hopefully, it will be an opportunity for you to start all over again and do it differently next time."

Miles and her relatives say she was a compassionate person and a good mother to her young son before she was in a car accident that led to a prescription pill addiction.

"No matter how you raise somebody, their values, everything goes out the window at that point," her mother, Debra Miles, said on the stand as she asked for mercy for her daughter.

"The pills kind of, on a molecular level, they rewire the system on how you think," she said.

Brittany Miles' father also asked for leniency.

"If you could give her a chance to right herself I am sure she would make a positive out of this, sir," Edward Miles told Andrews. "You learn from your experiences. This was a very bad experience for her and our family."

On the day of the fatal crash, Miles told deputies she had had seven drinks; a drug test later determined she had oxycodone and Xanax in her system. She testified that while in the back of Grady's cruiser, she swallowed a handful of Xanax she'd hidden inside her underwear. Miles testified she got one hand free from her handcuffs and reached through the cruiser's window which had been rolled down for deputies to speak with Miles to open the door.

"I know that there were mistakes on my part with how she escaped," Grady testified. But, Grady said, Miles knew the rules. She turned what could have been a few hours in jail on a DUI charge into a deadly rampage.

"She knew that she was under arrest," Grady said. "She knew that she was not free to leave and she took the law into her own hands and, because of it, lives were taken."

Grady still suffers dizziness and leg pain. She said Miles' remorse is because she has been forced to become sober in jail.

"I gave her plenty of opportunities to pull over the vehicle, to stop, to save both of our lives and she fought with me on that," Grady said. "She chose that decision not the drugs."

Miles' relatives declined to speak with reporters after the court proceedings.

"We can live with what happened," Miles' attorney, Robert Rawlins, said of the sentence, "and we will fight Hernando when it comes."

 
 

Brittany Miles offers tearful account of 2011 rampage

By Erin Sullivan - TampaBay.com

November 6, 2012

NEW PORT RICHEY Weepy and speaking just above a whisper, Brittany Miles said she remembers little of the morning of May 10, 2011, when her actions left a Pasco deputy crumpled on U.S. 19 and a Hernando motorcyclist dead.

"The whole incident is fuzzy," Miles testified Tuesday in her trial in Pasco County, where she faces charges of attempted murder, escape, fleeing law enforcement and DUI. Miles, 22, will face a separate trial in January in Hernando County for the death of motorcyclist Henry McCain, 67.

Miles told jurors she began an oxycodone addiction after a car accident in 2009, when a doctor prescribed the medication for her back pain. On that fateful morning in 2011, Miles said, she was already high on oxycodone when she was arrested for a suspected DUI in Hudson. She said she had hidden several Xanax pills in her underwear. While sitting in the back of a Pasco sheriff's cruiser, Miles said she worried about the pills, for which she didn't have a prescription.

"I was thinking about how I had these pills on me now and I know that I needed to get rid of them," she said, her voice breaking into sobs. "I would be in more trouble (if caught with them) so I took all of the pills out of my underwear and I swallowed them."

"How many?" asked her attorney, Robert Rawlins.

"Somewhere around eight or nine," she said.

Things started getting even more fuzzy. She said she was scared. The cruiser's window had been left down after a deputy needed to speak with Miles.

"The window was down. I slipped my handcuff off and I opened the door and I got out and ran," said Miles, then a 21-year-old exotic dancer with a young son. She said she was able to get the cuff off because she has small wrists.

Miles ran to her truck, which still had the keys in it. She said she didn't even know Pasco Deputy Ashley Grady was chasing her or that the deputy had jumped onto the side of the pickup until Miles had floored the gas.

A tow truck driver testified that Grady clung to Miles' truck as it peeled out of the parking lot, hit a drainage ditch, flew onto two wheels and nearly hit a light pole before careening onto U.S. 19, which was thick was morning rush-hour traffic.

"I looked at the speedometer," Grady testified Tuesday, "and we were already going over 70 miles per hour."

Grady said she kept telling Miles to stop, that running wasn't worth it. Miles told her she wasn't going to jail, Grady testified, and kept trying to elbow her out of the truck.

"How forcefully was she pushing you?" Assistant State Attorney Vin Petty asked Grady.

"To a point where I couldn't hold on anymore," Grady said.

Grady hit the pavement hard. She said she knew she was on U.S. 19 and she was scared of getting hit by another car. She had a broken leg, cuts and bruises and a concussion. She couldn't see. The world spun around her. She just kept rolling, hoping to get to a safe place.

Pasco sheriff's mechanic Timothy Moore, who was at the scene to impound Miles' truck, ran across the highway, waved his arms and blocked traffic so the deputy wouldn't get hit. He found Grady in the road, still conscious. And angry.

"She said, 'The b---- pushed me out the window,' " Moore said.

Grady was in the hospital for 24 hours and off work for three months, using a walker and then crutches. She said she still gets dizzy sometimes and, depending on the weather, her leg aches.

Grady, now 24 and back to work full time, was suspended for five days without pay for violating agency regulation by leaving the cruiser window down.

Miles said it all happened very fast.

"She was there and then she wasn't there," Miles told jurors. "I didn't even realize she had gotten hurt."

Miles' defense team told jurors that she admits to everything that happened that day except the attempted murder charge, which hinges on whether Miles purposely pushed Grady off the truck.

"Did you push Deputy Grady?" Rawlins asked.

"No," Miles said. "I didn't."

"What was going through your mind?" he asked.

"I was just scared. I was panicking. I really didn't mean to hurt her," Miles said. "If I could take that back, I would. I didn't mean for her to get hurt. I just panicked."

The chase north on U.S. 19 exceeded 100 mph, witnesses testified, with Miles swerving through traffic. Authorities say Miles blew through a red light at U.S. 19 and County Line Road, killing McCain.

The Pasco jury six jurors and three alternates have not heard about McCain's death. They only know there was an accident at County Line Road and that Miles' truck stopped some distance north of there. They know she ran from the truck and was tackled by a deputy. Miles cried at the mention of County Line Road and said she only remembers "flashes."

"I honestly don't remember much of the chase at all," she said.

"I was extremely messed up. I remember driving in my truck and the next thing I remember is being in custody."

Both the state and defense rested their cases Tuesday.

The trial is expected to continue today with closing arguments and then the jury will deliberate on Miles' fate.

 
 

Attorneys make openings statements in Brittany Miles trial in Pasco

By Erin Sullivan - TampaBay.com

November 12, 2005

NEW PORT RICHEY Brittany Miles' attorney says she was high on prescription pills during a 2011 rampage that ended with a Pasco County deputy thrown onto U.S. 19 and a Hernando motorcyclist dead.

This was her "rock bottom," Aaron Delgado said in opening statements in Miles' trial Monday.

Miles, 22, is facing charges of felony attempted murder, escape, fleeing law enforcement and DUI. If convicted, she faces possible life in prison.

"Brittany Miles admits she was driving. She admits she fled. She admits all of that. She is guilty of all those things," Delgado told the jurors. "We don't challenge it. We don't contest it.

"But she is not guilty of attempted murder."

On May 10, 2011, at least three witnesses called 911 to report that Miles, a dancer at a strip club called the Brass Flamingo and mother of a toddler, was driving erratically.

Pasco Deputy Ashley Grady pulled Miles over on U.S. 19 in Hudson on suspicion of driving under the influence. Miles told deputies she'd had seven drinks; a drug test later said she had oxycodone and Xanax in her system.

Miles was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car. Authorities say Miles got one hand free from her handcuffs and reached through the cruiser's window which had been rolled down for deputies to speak with Miles to open the door. Miles then ran to her truck and peeled out back onto U.S. 19, authorities said.

Grady, now 24, leapt onto the running board, clung to the truck and tried to pull the keys out of the ignition. Assistant State Attorney Vin Petty said Miles punched the gas to 70 mph and tried to shove Grady out.

Grady "was locked in a life or death struggle," Petty said to the jury. "At that speed, you can't simply jump off."

He said Miles eventually won, flinging Grady onto the southbound lanes of U.S. 19. Grady was cut, bruised and had a broken leg, and was later suspended for five days without pay for violating agency regulation by leaving the cruiser window down.

Delgado said Miles did not intentionally do this.

"Was there a struggle inside that vehicle?" Delgado said to jurors. "You will hear conflicting evidence on that."

Headed north at 100 mph with cruisers on her tail, Miles struck and killed motorcyclist Henry McCain, 67, at U.S. 19 and County Line Road, authorities said.

That crash happened in Hernando County, where Miles will have a separate trial in January on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated fleeing and eluding. If convicted of murder, the sentence is life in prison.

Earlier this year, Miles pleaded no contest to the Pasco charges and threw herself at the mercy of the court. But she withdrew her plea in May after learning the judge has no discretion in her sentencing: On charges of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, the law says the sentence must be life in prison, without parole.

As part of the presentencing investigation for that plea, Miles made this statement, according to court records: "I just want Deputy Grady to know how sorry I am that she was injured that day. She was only trying to do her job. I did not mean for anyone to get hurt, I wasn't in my right state of mind and had I been, none of this would have happened. I really can't express how sorry I am for everything that occurred that day and I hope that somehow the ones injured can find it in their heart to forgive me. I know that I need help and am willing to take whatever help I can get."

Relatives say Miles became addicted to painkillers after a car accident two years earlier, where, they said, she was hit by a drunken driver. More than a dozen loved ones wrote letters to the court on Miles' behalf, begging for leniency. They spoke of how kind and loving Miles was before her descent into addiction.

"This could have been anyone's child," Miles' mother, Debra Miles, a Hernando sheriff's deputy, wrote in a letter to the court.

 
 

Events spun into tragedy for mother, deputy, motorcyclist

By Tony Holt - HernandoToday.com

July 30, 2011

BROOKSVILLE - Brittany Miles was behind the wheel of her truck at a traffic light along a busy highway with her eyes closed.

Authorities had been looking for Miles' red Dodge Ram for most of the morning before Pasco Sheriff's Deputy Ashley Grady noticed it.

People were calling 911 to report a reckless driver in the area. The first call came almost five hours earlier when Miles got off work at the Brass Flamingo the morning of May 10, according to court documents.

Grady guessed Miles had dozed off for about 15 seconds before a frustrated motorist behind her honked the horn to let her know the light had turned green.

Moments later, Grady turned on her emergency lights and pulled over the drowsy driver along U.S. 19.

Evidence filed by the State Attorney's Office revealed the following:

Miles, 21, failed a series of sobriety tests and admitted to consuming seven alcoholic drinks the night before. She sat in the backseat of Grady's patrol car while the deputy filled out an arrest affidavit.

Grady stated Miles was cooperative, emotional and talkative. She had body tremors, stood unsteadily and had mumbled speech.

Another deputy had parked his car behind Grady. A tow truck driver arrived to remove Miles' vehicle.

The backseat window had been rolled down so the backup deputy could talk to the suspect about the pills he found inside her truck.

They were aspirins, she told him. She stuffed them in a cigarette pack because the bottle was broken.

At first, the arrest did not seem unusual for the U.S. 19 corridor through Pasco County, where there is an abundance of bars and strip clubs.

This particular DUI case would end in horrifying fashion.

More than 90 minutes had passed. It was 8:55 a.m. and Miles needed to be in a Hernando County courtroom.

The backup deputy, Christopher Greifenberger, agreed to call the suspect's mother and tell her she was going to miss her custody hearing. Miles thought about the consequences and the possibility of losing her son.

Panic started to set in for Miles. Her window of opportunity to retrieve her truck and speed away was seconds from closing.

The tow truck driver was about to remove the Dodge from the highway. Miles was about to go to jail. Her keys were in the truck's ignition. The petite exotic dancer freed her left wrist from the handcuffs.

Nine minutes later, Grady lay injured on the asphalt with a broken ankle and leg and had blood gushing from her head. Five miles north along the same highway, a motorcyclist lay dead with lacerated organs and crushed bones.

After jumping out of her mangled truck and getting tackled by Greifenberger, Miles wound up in the back of an ambulance with a cervical collar around her neck. She started to cry.

A deputy said he overheard Miles utter the following later to an emergency room nurse at Oak Hill Hospital:

"I was under the influence. She was trying to arrest me. I had to get to court so I don't lose my child. So I left and got into an accident. I ran for my son so I wouldn't lose him. I guess now I lost him anyway."

'I didn't do it on purpose'

Miles' charges in Hernando County are first-degree murder and aggravated fleeing or eluding law enforcement.

The murder charge is for the death of Henry McCain, 66, who was crossing the County Line Road intersection on his motorcycle when Miles' truck mowed him down, deputies said.

In Pasco, she was charged with attempted murder on Grady, escape, fleeing or eluding and DUI.

If convicted of the first-degree murder charge, Miles could be sent to death row.

Piles of evidence have been added to the court file, including documents revealing more details of Miles' DUI arrest and subsequent escape and a recording of a phone call she made from the jail a couple days later.

"My mom is saying that no matter what, I'm gonna end up doing time," Miles said during the call. "Right now, they have me on the death penalty."

Miles' mother is Debra Miles, a Hernando County Sheriff's deputy.

She spoke over the phone to Oliver Bevins, the father of her 2-year-old son. She told him several times she loved him.

Miles said her mother told her not to discuss the case over the phone. Bevins said he got the same message. They spent most of their 15-minute conversation talking about it.

"It was a (expletive deleted) accident," Miles said. "It was a car accident. As far as the deputy, she jumped on the truck It's not like I hit her. She fell off.

"It was her decision," she continued. "She just jumped on the (expletive deleted) truck while I was driving."

Miles revealed moments of sorrow and regret, but only while it was mixed with confusion about the charges filed against her.

"They can't do this to me," she told Bevins. "Did you hear the charges they have against me? Like, (expletive deleted) murder? I didn't, you know what I mean? Like, I didn't do it on purpose Like, it was a car accident. Do you know what I mean? How can they charge me with murder for a car accident?

"I'm sorry," she said later. "I'm so (expletive deleted) sorry. This whole thing is a big (expletive deleted) accident. They can't do this to me."

She said she was scared she would be imprisoned for the rest of her life.

An emotional Bevins promised he would wait for her even if she remains behind bars until she's 50 years old.

Miles told him she had been detoxing while in jail. The side effects were "disgusting," she said.

Bevins told Miles had she stayed in Grady's car and peacefully gone to jail, she probably would not have spent an extended time behind bars. He said DUI suspects in Pasco are released as soon as they get sober.

"I wish you had relayed the message to me before I did anything stupid," she told him.

Dangerous behavior

Miles confronted Natalia Magnifico-Ortiz outside her workplace the morning of March 26, deputies said.

"Are you the (expletive deleted) who hit me?" Miles asked her.

Magnifico-Ortiz tried to explain it wasn't her.

Miles threw her to the ground, struck her and pulled out clumps of her hair, according to court documents. A witness corroborated Magnifico-Ortiz's story. Others saw the two women on the ground fighting.

Pasco deputies arrived, but Magnifico-Ortiz initially declined to pursue charges.

Miles left the area in a taxi. She said she didn't remember anything until she woke up naked in a stranger's house.

Miles said the man rubbed up against her and asked her what she charged for sex. She said she wasn't into that.

She called her mother shortly after 1 p.m. that day and asked her to pick her up.

"I was angry with my daughter because of her recent behavior and told her to call one of her friends to help her," Debra Miles told the Pasco Sheriff's Office. "I was done with her."

She had already spent the morning looking for her daughter and was driving home.

After she made it home, Debra Miles had a change of heart. She and her husband drove to the area of Moog Road in New Port Richey to find her.

Brittany Miles called her mother from an unknown number. She said several times she didn't know where she was, according to court documents.

Her mother called the number on her caller ID and a man answered. He told her he found her hours earlier in the back of a deputy cruiser and didn't want to see her go to jail.

She was released and he brought her back to his place, he said.

He insisted he slept on the sofa and she slept in another room.

He told Debra Miles he was a "perfect gentleman."

She thought he sounded suspicious.

Miles said she saw her daughter in the passenger seat of a passing car near a pizzeria along U.S. 19. She confronted the man who was driving her. Others who knew the man pulled up and laughed at what they were seeing an angry mother picking up her intoxicated adult daughter.

Brittany Miles still hadn't reached rock bottom.

Determined not to go to jail

Grady lay on the asphalt after falling from a pickup that had accelerated to more than 70 mph.

The bewildered tow truck driver, Timothy Moore, heard her yell, "The female suspect pushed me out the window!"

Moments earlier, Miles had flung the rear driver's side door open, according to Grady's report.

She ran to the truck with Grady in pursuit.

As Grady grabbed hold of the inside of the vehicle and as Miles picked up speed, she told the deputy, "I'm not going to jail. I have a court date at 9 for my son and you're not getting in my vehicle. You're not stopping me," according to a transcript of Grady's interview with a detective.

Grady said she had pressed her forearm against Miles' neck and shoulder and tried to pull the key out of the ignition, but the suspect jerked the wheel and pushed her out of the truck.

A deputy got ahead of Miles during the chase and tried to slow her down near the intersection of New York Avenue. By then, Miles was driving 100 mph, authorities said.

A cement truck driver tried to stop Miles by blocking part of the highway with his vehicle, but the suspect veered off the road onto the grassy shoulder and avoided the truck, according to reports.

She continued north and zoomed through the red light at Little Road, deputies said.

Greifenberger was among those taking part in the chase, which continued into Hernando County.

When Miles' truck collided with McCain's motorcycle, it looked like "an explosion of debris and vehicle parts" flying in the air, according to court documents.

One witness said he saw a "rooster tail of dirt and a cop behind it." Both were on the shoulder of U.S. 19 north of County Line Road.

Miles, who said she was disoriented after the deployed airbag struck her in the head, traveled off the road and drove over a drainage pipe. She eventually came to a stop near the entrance of Pasco-Hernando Community College and tried to get away on foot, deputies said.

Greifenberger tackled her. She struggled as he reapplied the handcuffs, he stated in his report.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper at the scene observed Miles in the back of a Spring Hill Fire Rescue ambulance. She had bloodshot eyes and was emotional, she wrote in her report.

Miles was transported to Oak Hill Hospital.

While in the emergency room, she asked about the motorcyclist she had struck, according to reports. She would later say during her jail phone call she swerved to miss him, but he turned in the same direction and she couldn't avoid the collision.

Hernando County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Dunn watched Miles while she was at the hospital. She struggled to walk to the bathroom.

"I advised her she has to take small steps due to the leg shackles," Dunn wrote. "Brittany then began to walk on tiptoes and began to giggle and laugh."

 

 

 
 
 
 
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