Miller faces kidnapping victim in hearing
February 4, 2015
A Washburn kidnapping victim faced her alleged attacker in court last week when Mathew Miller, one of the Eagle Rock brothers accused of the crime, had a hearing in the McDonald County court system. Mathew, his brother, Michael, and Michael’s girlfriend, Amanda Rhodes, all face charges for the crime in both Barry and McDonald Counties.
Mathew’s McDonald County hearing last week led the court to determine that there was probable cause for a trial on the case. Victim Pamela Walker testified at the hearing, recounting the details of the event where the brothers abducted her, put her in the trunk of her car, and eventually dumped her and rolled her down a hill.
According to the affidavits of probable cause, the Miller brothers and Rhodes all played a hand in the kidnapping that spanned both counties. Walker was abducted from her home in McDonald County where the men demanded to know where her drugs were and what the PIN number to her bank account was. Later, she was shut in the trunk of her car, which the brothers stole and then drove to Cassville.
The Millers were identified by the security footage at the 1st State Bank in Cassville where they withdrew $351.50 from Walker’s bank account. After visiting the ATM, the brothers allegedly drove the victim’s car to an area in rural Eagle Rock where they took her out of the trunk, hit her, punched her, and then rolled her down a hill. The victim walked until she found a residence and could call 911, according to the probable cause.
The brothers dumped Walker’s car, a 2011 Chevy Malibu, which was later found partially submerged in an arm of Roaring River in Eagle Rock. Rhodes then picked the brothers up in her van and drove them to Berryville, Ark., where they used the debit card again and withdrew more money from the victim’s account, according to the investigation.
Michael and Rhodes were both arrested near Pittsburgh, Penn., and held in the Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania, and Mathew was arrested locally. According to information added to the probable cause, Michael’s cell mate in Pennsylvania corroborated much of the story about the kidnapping and also told authorities that Michael was attempting to alter his tattoo that was used to identify him in the ATM security footage.
Another brother, Marc Miller, was also charged in connection with the crime in February, as was Mathew’s girlfriend, Shelby Keeler. However, the kidnapping and tampering with a motor vehicle charges against them were dismissed on March 10. Initially, investigators believed the Marc and Keeler played a hand in transporting Michael and Mathew before and after the kidnapping.
Now that Mathew’s case will go to trial, he has entered a plea of not guilty and has a pretrial conference scheduled in McDonald County for March 3. Michael waived his preliminary hearing in McDonald County, also entered a plea of not guilty, and has a pretrial conference scheduled for March 3 in McDonald County. Rhodes’s pretrial conference in McDonald County is scheduled for February 18.
In Barry County, Michael has no hearings scheduled, but Mathew has a motion hearing under Judge Blankenship set for March 2. Rhodes has a disposition hearing set for February 17.
Each of the Miller brothers and Rhodes currently face kidnapping, burglary, and tampering with a motor vehicle in McDonald County and felonious restraint, tampering in the first degree, and assault in the second degree in Barry County.