Man charged with rape, kidnapping in Ripley County, MO appears in court
GRANDIN, MO (KFVS) - A man accused in a violent rape in Ripley County made his first appearance in Ripley County court on Wednesday, March 22.
Heath B. Miller, 35, of Rector, Arkansas faces charges of rape, kidnapping, and armed criminal action.
When asked if he committed the crimes, Miller said "no ma'am," as he was heading into court.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Miller was arrested near Grandin, MO on Saturday, March 18.
Ripley County Sheriff Mike Barton said Miller was found around 4 p.m. near Bay Nothing River Access.
He described Miller as being tired and dirty but uninjured.
Barton said dogs and a helicopter helped track Miller down. He was taken into custody without incident.
Miller, who was considered armed and dangerous, faces charges in both Ripley and Dunklin Counties.
According to court documents filed in Ripley County, the victim called for help around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8 as she was driving herself to the hospital in Poplar Bluff from Grandin.
The victim told investigators that she was at her house in Kennett with her 17-month-old daughter when Miller walked into the restroom of her home.
Miller, who is the father of her child, electrocuted the victim with a flashlight stun gun, according to the probable cause statement.
The victim said Miller pulled out a large knife and climbed on top of her. She told investigators that he cut her hand open as she was trying to get away.
Miller reportedly forced the victim to have sex with him.
Afterward, the victim told police that Miller said he was going to tie her to the bed and inject her with liquid morphine so he could get away. But, after pleading with him and telling Miller she needed to care for their baby, Miller told her to get in a vehicle and he drove her from Kennett to Bay Nothing river access in Ripley County, near Grandin.
The baby was with them during the drive, according to court documents.
When they got to the river access, the victim told investigators that Miller said he was going to live in a tent in the woods. He then allegedly forced her out of the vehicle and raped her again.
As Miller was pulling his pants up, the victim was able to get in the vehicle and lock the doors. The victim said that after pacing around the vehicle, Miller walked into the woods.
That's when the victim was able to drive herself to the hospital.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Miller was also suspected of breaking into a home in Ripley County and stealing a handgun around 7:45 p.m. on March 13, 2017.
He was also spotted on a trail camera in Grandin on Monday, March 13.
Miller faces these charges in Dunklin County:
- Rape or attempted rape
- 3 counts of Armed Criminal Action
- Sodomy or attempted sodomy
- Assault 1st degree
- Kidnapping while facilitating a felony, inflicting injury and terrorizing
- Kidnapping 2nd degree
He is also charged in Ripley County with rape or attempted rape, two counts of armed criminal action, and kidnapping 2nd degree.
A judge in Dunklin County set Miller's bond at $250,000 cash only. In Ripley County, the judge ordered that Miller be held without bond.
During his court appearance in Ripley County on March 22, a judge read the charges against Miller and went over his past criminal history. The judge also denied a request for bond reduction.
Miller is due back in Ripley County court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, September 27.
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