Wesley Wayne Miller – Repeat Sex Offender – Killer heads back to prison

FORT WORTH — Wesley Wayne Miller, one of Tarrant County’s most notorious sexual predators and killers, is headed back to prison.

Miller, 46, violated terms of his civil commitment order by having a romantic relationship with a female jailer at a Tarrant County facility where he was housed after his release from prison.

For that violation and two others, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday under a plea agreement.

Before the plea was finalized, prosecutors consulted with the sister of Miller’s 1982 murder victim and with another woman he attempted to rape, said prosecutor Alana Minton.

Miller, a former Castleberry High School football star, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the stabbing death of Retha Stratton, an 18-year-old Castleberry cheerleader. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison on an unrelated charge of burglary with intent to commit rape.

Over two decades, he was repeatedly released on mandatory supervision under a state law in effect when he was sentenced. Each time, he was sent back because he refused to participate in sex-offender counseling or was accused of another crime, including stalking a Wichita Falls woman.

In 2006, Miller became the first convicted murderer to be civilly committed under a 1999 law, which was expanded in 2006 to include killers with sexually motivated conduct.

That meant that Miller, after he was released from prison in 2007, had to live in supervised housing, follow a long list of rules and be supervised by the Council on Sex Offender Treatment.

After initially being sent to another facility, he was housed in Tarrant County’s Cold Springs unit. Last May, he was charged with violating the rules by having a relationship with a 21-year-old jailer. He was then transferred to the county’s downtown facility, where he was charged with two other violations — visiting with his father and brother, who had been taken off his approved-visitors list.

Miller’s attorney, Curtis Fortinberry, contended that the charges should be thrown out because the civil commitment rules did not apply because he was living in a secure facility.

Judge Mike Thomas denied Fortinberry’s motion to quash the indictments.

After his ruling, Fortinberry said Miller agreed to plead guilty to all three charges in exchange for concurrent 10 years sentences. If he had been convicted by a jury, he faced 20-year sentences on each of the three charges because of his prior convictions, Fortinberry said.

Because prosecutors were asking that the three sentences be served consecutively, Miller was looking at 60 years in prison if he hadn’t taken the plea, he said.

However, Miller will not be eligible for parole on his 10-year sentence under terms of the civil commitment law, Minton said. That means he will have to serve all 10 years, she said.

Miller will be allowed to appeal the judge’s ruling on the motion. Fortinberry said he hopes an appellate court will rule that the civil commitment law is unconstitutional.

“We’re looking for some appellate court to clarify the law,” he said. “If they declare it unconstitutional, the Legislature will clean it up and make it right. It’s a good law. It serves its purpose, but the way it’s written does not.”

Minton disagrees.

“He’s saying that because Mr. Miller is housed at Cold Springs, he is being confined; therefore the rules don’t apply,” she said. “But the law doesn’t say that. It says he can be housed in any facility the Council of Sex Offender Treatment say he can and he has to follow the civil commitment rules.

“Mr. Miller was aware of what his requirements were under his civil commitment. He knowingly violated those requirements and this is the consequence.”

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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