Trucker Convicted of Kidnapping and Interstate Domestic Violence
After a week-long trial, a federal jury convicted a trucker and Florida resident of kidnapping and interstate domestic violence. Evidence adduced at trial showed that the defendant held the female victim captive for 10 days and inflicted psychological and physical abuse that included sexual battery. This was the first time an individual was charged with domestic violence in federal court in South Florida under the Interstate Domestic Violence statute.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on August 21, 2014, the 40-year-old female victim leapt from a window of Timothy John Miers’, 47, 18-wheeler truck cabin and ran into the arms of civilians at a truck stop in Medley, Florida. These civilians, and later police officers, observed that the victim had bruises all over her body, two black eyes and was bleeding from her nose and ear.
The victim recounted to law enforcement the physical and psychological abuse, as well as the sexual battery, that Miers inflicted on her over the course of several days he held her captive. Miers had confined the victim in the cabin of his 18-wheeler truck between August 11, 2014 and August 21, 2014, while he drove from Boston to South Florida. Law enforcement’s entry into the defendant’s iPhone revealed a cache of photographs of the victim bruised and battered, which Miers had taken while the victim was held and terrorized. In addition, Miers had video recorded his sexual assault of the victim and forced her to engage in humiliating and degrading dialogue. During that video, Miers announced his intention to subject her to a life of sexual slavery and daily beatings. Miers stated to the victim that he had beaten and killed other women previously. In fact, that was the case.
At trial, two other women testified that they had been romantically involved with Miers until he became violent and abusive. Miers’ ex-wife testified that he confined, repeatedly beat, raped and degraded her. She also testified that Miers forced her to urinate in a bucket instead of in a toilet and sometimes refused to give her food unless she complied with all of his demands. Miers also threatened to kill his ex-wife and her daughter if she ever tried to escape. The last act of violence that the defendant inflicted on his ex-wife was a punch to the face that resulted in a fractured orbital socket and other injuries. Another former girlfriend was similarly beaten in the face by Miers when she tried to leave his vehicle against his command.
Evidence at trial further revealed that a fourth victim, also an ex-girlfriend, had been confined in a vehicle by Miers. This victim tried to escape by throwing herself from the fast moving vehicle into oncoming traffic. Several bystanders saw what happened and rendered aid while she screamed that Miers was going to kill her.
Although not admitted at trial, court filings reveal that one of Miers’ ex-girlfriends was reported missing after last being seen with him. Public filings detail that the missing woman’s blood was found behind some baseboards in the bathroom of the apartment they shared together. She has never been found and no charges have been filed relating to this woman’s disappearance. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please call Detective Moises Garcia, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, Homicide Section, (813) 247-0569.
At sentencing, Miers faces up to life in prison for kidnapping, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1201, and faces up to 10 years imprisonment on each count of Interstate Domestic Violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2261.
U.S. Attorney Ferrer stated, “No human being should have to endure the abuse and terror that these women suffered at the hands of Timothy John Miers. Thanks to the bravery of the victims who testified and the other compelling evidence presented at trial, their captor has been brought to justice. Making full use of our federal laws, we were able to charge the defendant with kidnapping, and for the first time in this District, with federal domestic violence. We will continue to vigorously prosecute such acts of violence.”
“Gaining access to the data on Mr. Miers’ cell phone produced evidence that was an essential part of this investigation,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge for FBI Miami. “Miers videotaped his sexual assault of a victim and threatened to subject her to a life of sexual slavery and daily beatings. Now convicted of his heinous crimes, he faces the possibility of a long prison sentence.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the FBI for their efforts in the investigation of this case. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Medley Police Department for their assistance and cooperation in this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gilfarb and Vanessa Johannes.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.