WASHINGTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Authorities say three Washington Parish residents, two of them family members, were allegedly involved in a kidnapping and sexual assault.
On December 16, deputies with the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office responded to a parish resident who reported he went home for lunch and discovered his wife, his firearm collection, and their vehicle were missing. The man immediately suspected foul play.
After 30 minutes of deputies converged the area, a Probation and Parole officer located the vehicle and the female victim on a hunting club road.
The vehicle had become stuck in mud and the suspect fled into the woods. At the time, the victim also fled into nearby woods in the opposite direction her assailant had taken, according to deputies.
When she saw the Probation and Parole officer, she came out of hiding and went to him, reports say.
Within an hour of receiving the complaint, officers searched the woods in the direction the suspect had fled, located him and took him into custody.
According to authorities, at the time of his arrest, 17-year-old Deonta Miller, of Franklinton, was carrying 3 pistols and a mask, while still wearing the latex gloves he used during the kidnapping.
During interviews, Miller admitted to deputies he committed the crimes.
According to Miller's statement to authorities, the event began when he went to the front door of the victim's house posing as a package delivery person. When the victim opened the door, Miller pushed his way inside at gunpoint, pulled the mask over his face, tied up the victim, stole numerous guns, then forced the victim out of the house into her vehicle.
After turning onto the hunting camp road, Miller stopped the vehicle and sexually assaulted the victim.
During the investigation it was determined Miller had been brought to the area by 48-year-old Robert Lester, of southwest Washington Parish, and prepared the fake delivery box.
Authorities say once Miller fled in the vehicle, Lester followed in his own vehicle. Miller proceeded to throw guns out of the vehicle, while Lester would pick them up.
Once taken into custody, Lester admitted to his part in the crimes.
According to Lester's statement to police, once he retrieved the guns, he drove to Franklington where he met his niece, 18-year-old Victoria Lester, also of southwest Washington Parish, where they hid the guns in an abandoned house.
Once the location of the weapons was identified, they retrieved them. Authorities say they had no reason to believe Victoria Lester had knowledge of the crimes committed by Miller and her uncle.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented:
All three were arrested and booked into Washington Parish Prison on December 19 on the following charges:
- Deonta Miller - aggravated rape, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, and carjacking. His bond has been set at $650,000.
- Robert Lester - convicted felon in possession of a firearm, principal to aggravated burglary of an inhabited dwelling. His bond has been set at $350,000.
- Victoria Lester - accessory after the fact. Her bond has been set at $5,000.
As of 2 p.m. on December 18, Victoria Lester was released on bond.