AUSTIN,Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - New Year’s Eve 2017, two missing girls and a murder. The body of their mother Tonya Bates was found wrapped in a rug in a Round Rock duplex.
The incident sparked a regional Amber Alert for the two sisters, 7 and 14-years-old at the time.
They were eventually found in Colorado with Terry Miles. But the mystery was just beginning.
Terry Miles is on trial beginning this week. The indictments involve kidnapping the girls and an alleged relationship he had with the older girl, again just 14-years-old at the time.
Prosecutors told the jury in their opening arguments they believe on the night of Bates’ murder, she and Terry Miles had an argument and Miles ended up “viciously and violently” killing Tonya.
Miles drove the sisters to Colorado and took measures he believed would prevent them from being found.
Prosecutors believe the 14-year-old sibling was abused by Miles, that’s why she went along with the trip across state lines. They say the younger sibling wasn’t even aware her mother had been killed.
In their opening arguments the defense painted a very different picture, saying Terry Miles was a “live-in nanny” who was trying to take care of the family while Tonya was off partying somewhere when the rent was due.
The defense told the jury the older sister has had a rough life, she’s dishonest and her story has changed over time from exhonerating Miles to pointing the finger at him.
The defense made sure the jury understood that someone murdered Tonya Bates but Miles isn’t charged with that and they say she treated people so poorly there’s too much uncertainty to say Terry Miles did it.
There was also a shake-up with the jury today. One person was having some health issues so that juror was excused and an alternate was put into that spot.
Of the numerous possible sentences connected to the indictments, if convicted Miles is facing from 10 years up to life in prison.