WAYNESBORO, Miss. (AP) — A man charged with killing three people and sexually assaulting a witness told a Mississippi judge Thursday it was all “a big mistake” that began when he hit a deer, and got worse when he took drugs and tried to find the road kill.
William P. Miller, 27, of Millry, Alabama, spoke softly as he tried to explain what happened to Wayne County Justice Court Judge Charles Chapman, who set his bail at $4.6 million.
Deputies said Miller hit the deer with his van while driving to the home of Lloyd and Sonya Taylor near Buckatunna around midnight Tuesday.
Miller told the judge that he consumed methamphetamine and oxycodone at the home, and then took off around dawn with Lloyd Taylor and Jamie Gardner to find the road kill.
He said they quarreled along the way, and that one of the men was “more or less picking on me.”
“He kept on and it got physical,” he added.
Wayne County sheriff’s investigator Jamey Beard says deputies believe Miller shot and killed Lloyd Taylor and Jamie Gardner near the Alabama-Mississippi state line around sunrise on Tuesday, then returned to the home with their bodies in the car and killed Sonya Taylor.
Beard said Miller then sexually assaulted another woman at the home who saw Sonya Taylor die, and forced her to lead him to a dirt pit where he set the car on fire with the men’s bodies inside. Their remains have not yet been identified.
Beard says Miller fled from police in the survivor’s car, eventually running into the woods, before surrendering Wednesday after an 18-hour manhunt.