BEND, Ore. - (Update: Details of arraignment, next court date; Miller fined as phony home inspector)
Searchers worked through the night to find and arrest a Bend-area man on kidnap, assault and numerous other charges Tuesday morning. He's accused of holding a woman against her will at knifepoint at her barn and stable west of Bend when she went to check on her animals, authorities said Thursday.
Deschutes County sheriff’s patrol deputies responded shortly after 11 p.m. Monday to a reported kidnap and assault involving a weapon in the 18000 block of Bull Springs Road, sheriff’s Sgt. Don Manning said.
An initial investigation found that a woman encountered a man identified as Gregory Mason Miller, 47, who had laid in wait in her barn/stable, knowing she would be checking on her animals late Christmas night, Manning said.
Miller held the woman against her will “for an extended period of time” and tried to bind her hands, the sergeant said. She eventually was able to escape and was treated later for minor injuries, he added.
Manning said the woman’s abduction and assault were “not believed to be a random act,” as Miller knew the alleged victim previously.
Sheriff’s detectives and the agency’s SWAT team also responded to help deputies in the search, as Miller was believed to likely still be in the area and on the property.
Due to the large acreage involved, “along with the unpredictable violent actions of the suspect,” Manning said the SWAT team, detectives and a sheriff’s K-9 team were deployed to find him.
They searched over nearly a mile of difficult terrain and eventually found and arrested Miller without incident around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday near the woman’s home, close to where the alleged crimes occurred.
During their search, deputies also found Miller’s vehicle, which had been destroyed by fire and still smoldering, Manning said.
Miller was treated at the scene by Bend Fire Department paramedics and taken to St. Charles Bend due to self-inflicted, non-life-threatening injuries, the sergeant said.
He was then taken to the county jail and booked on 14 initial charges, including first-degree kidnapping, robbery, arson and burglary, as well as second-degree assault, strangulation, coercion, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, reckless endangering, stalking and four counts of first- and second-degree criminal mischief. Bail initially was set at $375,000.
Miller was arraigned Thursday afternoon on the district attorney’s office’s information (initial charging document), also listing 14 charges, though somewhat different in nature.
They included two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree burglary and two counts of coercion, along with unlawful use of a weapon, felony strangulation, menacing and fourth-degree assault, all “constituting domestic violence,” as well as recklessly endangering another person, reckless burning and misdemeanor stalking.
Circuit Judge Alta Brady set a Jan. 4 arraignment on an expected formal indictment, after the case goes to a grand jury. Jail records showed his bail was reduced to $250,000.
Deputy DA Evander McIver accused Miller of taking the woman from one place to another “with the purpose of terrorizing” her and secretly confining her in a place where she was unlikely to be found, also threatening to use a knife and causing and threatening physical injuries.
Oregon online court records show no previous felony charges against Miller.
However, earlier this year, the Oregon Construction Contractors Board levied more than $80,000 in fines against Miller, who they said used a license number belonging to a legitimate construction contractor with the same first and last name to conduct dozens of home inspections in Central and Eastern Oregon.