Sulphur man sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping two Texas girls in 2017

Sulphur man sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping two Texas girls in 2017
Terry Miles

AUSTIN, Tx. (KPLC) - Sulphur man Terry Miles was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the 2017 kidnapping of two girls from Round Rock, Texas, in 2017.

Miles, 45, was convicted during a two-week trial in February of two counts of kidnapping, one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Miles took the sisters - ages 7 and 14 - from Round Rock in December 2017. Their mother, Tonya Ellen Bates, was found dead in the home. Miles was the mother’s roommate. He has not been charged in her death.

The case drew national attention. Miles and the girls were eventually found in Colorado in January 2018.

Testimony during the trial revealed that Miles repeatedly engaged in sexual relations with the 14-year-old girl over a five-month period prior to being arrested, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the Western District of Texas.

Round Rock police officers conducting a welfare check at Bates’ home on Dec. 30, 2017, found her body, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The welfare check was performed because she had not shown up for work. Her 2017 Hyundai Accent was missing, as were her daughters.

Bates’ death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma and testimony at trial indicated that Miles likely killed Bates by bludgeoning her on the head with a heavy flashlight. Bates’ blood was found on one of Miles’ sneakers.

Using cell phone information on the girls’ phones, one of the phones was found in a heavily wooded area adjacent to a Walmart store in Round Rock. Surveillance video from the Walmart showed what appeared to be Miles purchasing numerous camping-related items, then leaving in what appeared to be Bates’ vehicle. The vehicle and a one of the girls’ cell phone were subsequently traced heading to Colorado. Security cameras and phone records showed the route Miles took from Round Rock to southern Colorado.

Miles was arrested by the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office near La Vera, Colorado, on Jan. 3, 2018. The girls were in the vehicle with him.

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