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Woman convicted in bat assault sentenced to 18 years

John Thompson • Updated Sep 4, 2019 at 6:55 PM

ELIZABETHTON _ Kasey Della Miller, 32, 1832 Bristol Highway, was sentenced to 18 years in prison when she entered a guilty plea in Carter County Criminal Court on Tuesday. She had been accused of using a baseball bat to beat a man until he was lying on the ground motionless.

Miller pleaded guilty to a charge of especially aggravated kidnapping and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault instead of attempted first-degree murder.

Judge Lisa Rice sentenced Miller to 18 years in prison. State law lists several crimes, such as first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, and rape, in which the law mandates that the person convicted of those crimes “shall serve 100% of the sentence.”

Miller was in court Tuesday along with three men: Matthew Duane Dye, 21; Ross Bee Kelley, 39; and Michael Todd Silcox, 42. All four were charged with attempted first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping. The charges stem from the same June 23, 2018 incident, which was allegedly videotaped and the video recovered from Miller’s cell phone.

Investigators with the Elizabethton Police Department and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department received information from tipsters, who described a video of a woman using a baseball bat to beat a man “and left him for dead.” Investigators said a tipster told them Miller was using the video “to show what she is capable of doing.”

Another informant said the video appeared to have been taken around Slagle’s Pasture. The informant went on to say that at the end of the beating with the baseball bat, Miller requested one of the men with her to step on the victim’s arm while he was lying on the ground. The informant said the other man did step on the victim and then stabbed him in the neck three times.

A few days later Elizabethton police investigators obtained Miller’s consent to search her phone and reported finding the video described by the tipsters. The investigators said it appeared Miller was accusing the victim of cheating her in a narcotics transaction. The investigators said the video shows Miller beating the man and then requesting one of her allies to bring her a knife and stand on the victim’s arm. The ally complied and also jabbed the victim in the neck with the knife.

The video was shown during the preliminary hearing for the four defendants in Sessions Court. Some of the defense attorneys pointed out that their clients were not shown on the video, but were bound over to a grand jury.

Following the preliminary hearing, Assistant District Attorney General Timothy Horne said of the video, “I have always heard that the coming of technology would have a tremendous benefit for law enforcement and prosecutors, but I don’t think any of us ever dreamed that it would be the use of that technology by criminals that would make our work easier.”

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