Former band teacher Heath Miller gained infamy last April for allegedly raping and molesting students in his classroom at H.L. Watkins Middle school in Palm Beach Gardens.
But two months before he made headlines for those crimes, he also shot and killed an armed intruder who broke into his Wellington home.
Miller was never charged in the shooting, and the Palm Beach County sheriff's detectives who investigated that case never linked it to the alleged sex crimes at Watkins. Yet Miller, who denied having sex with any of his students, used the shooting to explain his unusual behavior in the classroom. He admitted that he allowed one girl to kiss him.
"I have been so fucked up lately," Miller told Palm Beach County school district
detective Vinny Mintus in a recorded interview last April. "I've spent
all my money. I've been... I've just been freaking out. I've been
staying out late because to be honest with you, I haven't quite got my
mind right since February 16th."
"What's going on, man? I'm a Christian," Mintus said. "I'm not here to judge you."
"OK," Miller replied. "A man took six shots at me, and I killed him. And ever since then... I haven't... I almost feel like I shouldn't have made it out of there. And I've been acting like that.
"I've been running around acting like I'm fine, and every time somebody gives me any affection it's... I say I almost welcome it, but I haven't done anything to hurt these kids."
Miller is now in jail awaiting trial on charges that include sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation, and obstruction of justice.