Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jury is selected in Brittany Miles' murder trial

Brittany Miles, left, watches jury selection Monday at the Hernando County Government Center in Brooksville. She’s on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Henry McCain.


Brittany Miles, left, watches jury selection Monday at the Hernando County Government Center in Brooksville. She’s on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Henry McCain.

BROOKSVILLE — Brittany Miles jotted notes as her attorneys went about the process Monday of picking the jurors who will decide whether she will spend the rest of her life in prison.

The 23-year-old Spring Hill woman listened intently as her defense attorneys queried potential jurors about their experiences with car crashes and drug addiction.

"Does everybody agree that good people do terrible things under the influence of drugs?" attorney Aaron Delgado asked.

Most of the prospective jurors nodded. By 4 p.m., attorneys had picked seven women and five men.

The defense attorneys' line of questioning offered insight into the strategy they will take this week as they defend Miles against a first-degree murder charge. Opening statements are expected to start this morning.

On May 10, 2011, Miles was high on prescription drugs when she escaped from a Pasco deputy's patrol car during a DUI traffic stop in Hudson, authorities say. Miles sped off with Deputy Ashley Grady clinging to the truck.

Grady said Miles shoved her while traveling at 70 mph, sending her onto U.S. 19, crumpled with a head injury and a broken leg. Miles continued north, leading deputies on a 100-mph chase that ended just north of the Hernando-Pasco line. There, authorities say, her truck hit 66-year-old Henry McCain of Spring Hill and his 2009 Suzuki motorcycle. McCain died at the scene.

For her actions in Pasco, Miles was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, fleeing and eluding, and DUI.

On Monday, Assistant State Attorney Bill Catto explained to potential jurors that, under Florida law, someone is guilty of first-degree murder when committing one or more felonies that result in death.

Before the proceedings began, defense attorney Robert W. Rawlins III asked Catto if the state would agree to a plea deal with a 15-year prison sentence. Miles would serve the time concurrent with her Pasco sentence, Rawlins said.

"That's not something we would be interested in," Catto told Circuit Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr.

Attorneys on both sides eliminated more than a dozen prospective jurors. Among them was a man who said he doubted his ability to be fair to drug addicts.

On the day of the fatal crash, Miles told deputies she had had seven drinks; a drug test later determined she had oxycodone and Xanax in her system. She testified that while in the back of Grady's cruiser, she swallowed a handful of Xanax she had hidden inside her underwear. Miles testified she got one hand free from her handcuffs and reached through the cruiser's window — which had been rolled down for deputies to speak with Miles — to open the door.

During her Pasco sentencing hearing, she apologized to Grady and asked the judge for a second chance. Her parents, Debra and Edward, also asked for leniency.

Miles and her relatives say she was a compassionate person and a good mother to her young son before she was in a car crash that led to a prescription pill addiction. On Monday, Debra Miles, a school resource deputy for the Hernando Sheriff's Office, took off her glasses and wiped tears from her eyes as the selected jurors filed into the box. She declined to speak with the Times.

McCain's widow, Anita, and daughter Kellie also attended. In a written statement, they asked for privacy during the trial.

"No outcome will change this tragedy, one we live with every day," the statement read. "But we do hope these proceedings demonstrate the devastation that driving impaired causes."

Reach Tony Marrero at or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

Jury is selected in Brittany Miles' murder trial 03/04/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie


    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  2. 'Sharknado' coming to Tampa Theatre with director Q&A


    A movie about a tornado filled with man-eating sharks has to be better on the big screen, right? You'll have a chance to find out for yourself when the Syfy network's original Sharknado screens at Tampa Theatre.

    The original 'Sharknado,' which premiered in 2013, will screen at Tampa Theatre.
  3. Coast Guard airlifts man from fishing boat in Gulf of Mexico

    Public Safety

    A 27-year-old man was evacuated from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter Saturday night, authorities said.

  4. Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul


    WASHINGTON — Making a final push, President Donald Trump said he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "that far off" on a health overhaul to replace "the dead carcass of Obamacare." Expressing frustration, he complained about "the level of hostility" in government and wondered why both parties can't work …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) DCEV208
  5. Erin Andrews, ex-NHL player Jarret Stoll marry in Montana


    NEW YORK — Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former NHL player Jarret Stoll have tied the knot.

    FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016 file photo, Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, left, speaks with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta. Jennifer Allen, a publicist for Andrews, confirms Sunday, June 25, 2017, that the 38-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and ???‚??“Dancing with the Stars???‚?? co-host married the 35-year-old Stoll over the weekend.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NYSP103