Vegas killer had extensive criminal history in Tri-Cities

Tri-City HeraldJune 9, 2014 

A man involved in a Las Vegas killing spree that left two police officers and another man dead had an extensive criminal history in the Tri-Cities, including arrests for assault, harassment, theft and drunken driving.

Jerad Dwain Miller, 31, was arrested at least six times in Benton County between 2000 and 2002, court records show. Some of Miller’s crimes involved making threatening phone calls, stealing a vehicle and damaging property.

Miller lived in the Tri-Cities as a young man and attended Kennewick High School for a semester, friends and the school district confirmed Monday. Miller’s Facebook page listed Kennewick High as his former school.

Miller and his wife, Amanda, shot police officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, at a pizza restaurant Sunday morning before entering a Walmart and gunning down a 31-year-old man, according to Las Vegas law enforcement officials.

The couple got into a gunfight with police inside the Walmart that ended when Amanda Miller, 22, shot her husband, then put the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.

The couple had a “small arsenal” and survivalist gear — including first-aid supplies and military-issued rations — with them in the store, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. They spoke about overthrowing the government and were possibly planning a larger attack.

It appears Miller has immediate family in the Tri-City, Walla Walla and Burbank areas. Calls to his family members Monday were not answered.

Trevis Scott, 32, told the Herald that Miller was one of his best friends growing up and the two routinely hung out at a Finley trailer park where Miller lived.

Scott was surprised Monday when he saw on social media that his old friend was accused of such horrific acts, he said. He had not spoken to Miller since the two parted ways around 2001.

Scott invited Miller to live with him in 2001 for about a month while Scott was on leave from the military, he said. He spotted Miller walking alone in Kennewick and feared his childhood friend was using drugs. “He seemed lost,” Scott said. “I was pretty sure he was jobless. I was driving a rental car along 10th (Avenue) when I saw him. He started crying and mentioned he was homeless.”

The friends lost touch after Miller left his house, Scott said. Scott tried to track Miller down over the years, but, besides a brief stint on MySpace, was unsuccessful.

Miller had a tendency to be violent and a “loose cannon” at times growing up, Scott said.

“He was always prone to fight. He really liked to fight people,” Scott said. “I would always have to drag him away. He’s always been kind of out there.”

Miller was arrested in 2000 for destroying a smoke detector while trying to smoke in a bathroom, court documents said. He pleaded guilty to third-degree malicious mischief and was sentenced to jail.

Miller had three other criminal cases in Benton County in 2001 for malicious mischief, theft of a motor vehicle, harassment and shoplifting, court documents said. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges and served jail time.

Miller and a friend stole a vehicle in February of 2001 and took the vehicle to steal beer, court documents said. Miller then kicked in a citizen’s door and threw newspapers and phonebooks with threatening messages into his yard.

Miller also pleaded guilty to stealing a CD and gloves from a Richland Fred Meyer, and damaging two windows, one in a Kennewick Police Department holding cell, court documents show.

In 2002, Miller was cited for simple assault on another person, court documents show. He pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault and was sentenced to two days in jail.

In 2007 and 2010, he was convicted of drug dealing and possession charges related to marijuana, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In February 2011, he was arrested on a strangulation battery charge in Dearborn County, Ind., though the result of that case is unclear.

He also was arrested in 2009 on a battery charge by Tippecanoe County, Ind., police. He was later found not guilty.

He married Amanda Miller in September 2012 in Lafayette, Ind., court records show.

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