Brittany Miles, a 23-year-old exotic dancer, has been sentenced to 15 years for a high-speed chase that left a motorcyclist dead and a Florida sheriff's deputy injured.
Miles faced a life sentence if she had been convicted of attempted murder. Instead, the single mother was found guilty of the lesser charges of battery, DUI, escape and fleeing to elude.
The charges against Miles arose from a May 10, 2011 incident that began in Pasco County and ended in Hernando County with the death of 67-year-old Henry McCain. Miles still faces a charge of first-degree felony murder in the motorcyclist's death.
According to court records, Miles was stopped and arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Department on the morning of May 10 for driving under the influence. While seated in the back of a patrol car, Miles wiggled out of one of her handcuffs and reached through a window and opened the door. She then ran from the police cruiser to her 2002 Dodge Ram pickup, prosecutors said.
Pasco County deputy Ashley Grady chased Miles to the truck and stood on the running board as she tried to grab the keys from the ignition. Miles started the vehicle and drove onto U.S. 19, authorities said. As the vehicle sped down the highway at 70 mph, Grady fell from the vehicle and suffered multiple injuries, including a concussion, broken left tibia and abrasions to her arms.
Grady testified in court she was pushed from Miles' truck.
"I was pushed out of the truck and with the speeds we were going, I was no longer able to hang on," Grady told the jury.
Miles claimed she was high on prescription drugs at the time and denied pushing the deputy. A drug test revealed she had oxycodone and Xanax in her system at the time.
"As I was driving off, I didn't realize that deputy Grady ... jumped onto the side of the truck as I was pulling away ... The whole incident is fuzzy," Miles testified.
Timothy Moore, a Pasco sheriff's tow truck driver who was at the scene to impound Miles' vehicle, witnessed Grady fall from the truck. He testified in court that he ran to assist Grady so she would not be struck by oncoming traffic.
"She said, 'The b**** pushed me out the window,'" Moore said, referring to a statement Grady allegedly made at the scene.
Sheriff's deputies pursued Miles in an 8-mile chase, reaching speeds of 100 mph. The chase ended in Hernando County, where Miles' pickup sped through a red light and slammed into McCain's motorcycle, police said.
McCain, a funeral director and married father of two, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Pasco County jury was not told about McCain's death.
Deputy Grady served a 5-day suspension without pay for violating agency regulations by leaving the cruiser window down. She has since recovered from her injuries and is back on duty.
In court last month, Miles testified that she became addicted to oxycodone after she was involved in a car accident in 2009.
Grady testified the drugs were not an acceptable excuse for Miles' actions.
"She knew that she was under arrest," Grady said. "She knew that she was not free to leave and she took the law into her own hands ... I gave her plenty of opportunities to pull over the vehicle, to stop, to save both of our lives, and she fought with me on that. She chose that decision -- not the drugs."
BRITTANY MILES PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)
Miles' attorney, Aaron Delgado, told the jury his client was willing to accept responsibility for her role in everything, except attempted murder.
"Brittany Miles admits she was driving. She admits she fled. She admits all of that. She is guilty of all those things. We don't challenge it. We don't contest it. But she is not guilty of attempted murder," Delgado said.
Assistant State Attorney Vin Petty disagreed.
"[Grady] was locked in a life-or-death struggle," Petty told the jury. "At that speed, you can't simply jump off."
The jury ultimately found Miles guilty of the lesser charge of battery. Per sentencing guidelines, she faced anywhere from 25 months to 35 years in prison.
The sentencing phase of Miles' trial began on Tuesday.
"I am just asking for a second chance ... I'd like a chance to be a part of my family again, be a mother to my son," Miles told Circuit Judge Michael Andrews. "I realize the mistakes I made, and I want to be able to make as much good out of them as I can. I want to be able to help kids."
The ex-stripper's mother also begged the judge for mercy.
"I know that if she was in her right frame of mind that day, none of this ever would have happened," said Debra Miles, a Hernando County sheriff's deputy.
"She's a different person [now]," Debra Miles added. "She's back to being my daughter again, before she got addicted to these pills."
After listening to the pleas for leniency, Andrews sentenced Miles to 15 years, which includes credit for time served.
"At some point, you will get out," Andrews told Miles. "Hopefully, it will be an opportunity for you to start all over again and do it differently next time."
Miles' Hernando County murder trial is slated for Jan. 22. If convicted, she faces a sentence of life in prison.