By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
He added: "I will do whatever you guys want me to do, but I have not had sex with any of my kids," he said. "I've not tried to molest them. I hope you believe me."
Yet two of his alleged victims said Miller pulled them aside and told them to stop talking to investigators because "he would lose his job if they were to tell the truth," according to Mintus' police report.
Miller knew that another student was saying he had sex with kids, but he denied it. "Now, y'all got to clear this up because y'all know I'd never hurt y'all," one of the alleged victims remembered Miller telling her. "And after that... he said he's not going to touch us no more, and he just like said he was going to give us a handshake."
Miller admitted to speaking with the kids, but he didn't see anything wrong with it. "I said, 'Just tell them nothing happened,' " he told Mintus.
"Why would you do that?" Mintus asked.
"Because nothing happened," Miller said.
As for any DNA evidence that Mintus might find in the band room, Miller explained that he "frequently masturbated" there.
Spooked by Mintus' investigation, Miller's cousin, Kevin Whitaker, allegedly called the girl Miller drove to school every day and asked her to wash her clothes. Miller also called the math teacher and asked her to remove a cell phone memory card from his classroom. She did, only because she thought the card contained naked pictures of her.
As he scrambled to cover his tracks, Miller also called another woman — not a Watkins teacher — with whom he'd been having an affair, according to court documents. She says he told her that if the police ever questioned her about a white shirt with DNA on it, she should say it was a shirt she had used to wipe herself after sex. This lover was a close friend of Miller and his wife, Mirelle, so close that she says Mirelle knew about the affair.
But Miller's lover was deeply disturbed by the allegations that Miller had sex with kids because she had a 14-year-old daughter herself. So she confronted him.
"I asked him, you know, Heath, is this true?" she told Mintus in a sworn interview. "And he said no, it's not true." But when she pressed him, he changed his story.
"Well, it's... it's true, but only one time when I... picked her up to take her to school, one time," the woman said Miller told her.
"Did he say he had sexual intercourse?" Mintus asked.
"He had sex with her in the band room... in the closet behind his desk," the woman said.
But Miller told his lover not to worry. Late one night, after being interviewed by Mintus, he had cleaned up any damning evidence from the band room.
Miller pleaded not guilty to felony charges of sexual activity with a child, lewd and lascivious molestation, and tampering with evidence. He's been in jail ever since. He was denied bail, and no trial date has been set.
In the band uniform room at Watkins, Palm Beach County sheriff's investigators found semen on the floor underneath a chair. The 16-year-old student who accused Miller of rape was examined by a nurse, whose overall findings were "positive for sexual abuse," according to Mintus' probable-cause affidavit.
DNA samples from that victim, Miller, and the 14-year-old with whom he allegedly had sex are still being analyzed, according to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.
In the wake of the sexual assault allegations, Palm Beach County sheriff's detectives began reexamining the shooting death that Miller said changed his life. Speculation swirled about possible connections between Robert Rashard Tomlin and the band teacher. The events leading up to the break-in only added mystery.
Tomlin, known to friends as "Shard," had roots in Pahokee. He had been living with a cousin in subsidized rental housing in Wellington, watching the cousin's kids during the day while she went to school. Investigators would later learn that Tomlin was living there illegally, because both he and his cousin had rap sheets, in violation of federal housing rules.
Tomlin was arrested in October 2006 for domestic battery, pleaded guilty, then was arrested for violating probation. In April 2007, he was charged with aggravated battery against a victim who was pregnant. Court records show he was convicted of a reduced misdemeanor battery charge. In January 2008, he was arrested again for violating probation.
On the night of February 15, 2009, Tomlin's sister, Toccara Thompson, told detectives that she and her brother were drinking at a friend's place in Wellington, down the street from Miller's home. Around 10:30 p.m., the party's host kicked them out because she wanted to go to sleep, Tomlin's friend, Sheldon Leung, told detectives.
Tomlin left with Leung and another friend, Darryl Woodson, to get more beer. But before the men went to the store, Tomlin offered to keep an eye on Leung's .40-caliber handgun. "Give it to me — I'll hold onto it until you get back," Leung remembered Tomlin saying, according to the sheriff's report.