Night of Terror: Affidavit reveals alleged back-to-back home invasions before sexual assaults on Nov. 7
The night of terror ended with police discovering two naked women screaming in the streets of central Lawrence.
By 10:52 p.m. Nov. 7, Lawrence police had already been to three residences in the 800 blocks of Alabama, Maine and Missouri streets within the past half hour reporting a white man armed with a gun had forced his way into their homes. But what they would hear from the two women would take the investigation to a new level.
The women — we’ll call them Mary and Jane — alleged that the following occurred just minutes before they made contact with police, according to the recently released arrest affidavit in the case:
Mary, who is in her 30s, was asleep next to her baby in a bassinet in her room when she awakened to a stranger — later identified as Ryan Allen Miller, 36, of Lawrence — standing between her bedroom door and bed. Mary said Miller made a “threatening remark,” “climbed into her bed” and held what Mary believed to be a black handgun “against her face,” according to the affidavit.
Mary yelled out, which awakened Jane, who was asleep in another room. Jane then came to the bedroom and flipped on the light. “Turn the (expletive) light off,” Miller allegedly ordered Jane, and she complied. Miller then allegedly directed Jane, who is in her 50s, to come to the bed and asked if there was anyone else in the residence.
“(Miller) then stated if (Jane) lied to him, he would ‘blow the baby’s head off,'” according to the affidavit.
Next, Miller allegedly ordered the women into the baby’s nursery to perform oral sex on him as he held the handgun near their heads. They then moved to another bedroom, where Miller allegedly demanded they disrobe.
He told the women to lie on the bed, where he raped Jane, according to the affidavit. As he was allegedly doing so, Miller put his handgun down, so Mary tried to run from the bedroom. Miller allegedly chased after Mary and fought with her in the front room of the home.
That’s when Jane got up, grabbed the handgun, pointed it at Miller and pulled the trigger.
But it didn’t go off.
Jane then struck Miller several times on the head with the gun — which police would later determine to be a BB gun shaped like a 9mm handgun — then Mary and Jane fled the home. Jane ran to a neighbor’s home to call police, and Mary screamed for help in front of her home until officers arrived.
Mary cried to police that she believed her child had been abducted after Miller made a “veiled threat,” but officers found the child unharmed in the bassinet inside.
They also found Miller naked and hiding in the home’s unfinished basement. They arrested him and took him for a rape test kit at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, then interviewed him at police headquarters where he confessed to his alleged crimes, according to statements made in the affidavit.
Police would later search the home and find evidence to support the victims’ and Miller’s accounts of the night. Miller’s Puma athletic shoes and a pair of Hurley jeans were found with a cellphone and digital camera on the floor in a bedroom. Inside the back pocket were Miller’s driver’s license and ATM card. Mary’s, Jane’s and Miller’s undergarments were discovered in the other bedroom.
The events with Mary and Jane marked the end to a string of burglaries the night of Nov. 7, according to the affidavit.
At 10:23 p.m., Miller allegedly got his start at a home in the 800 block of Alabama Street where a woman lived in a loft apartment. The woman told police that she was alone in the apartment when she heard someone creeping up the stairs to her loft.
Startled and knowing she’d left her door unlocked, she hurried to lock it — but not before the intruder, allegedly Miller disguised in a hunting mask, was able to enter the apartment and point a handgun at her.
The woman “yelled at (Miller) to exit her apartment,” grabbed the handgun and “pushed it up and away from her person,” according to the affidavit. The two then struggled for control of the gun, which left the woman with a hand injury. The suspect’s mask was knocked off in the struggle, and he then fled with the gun from the scene.
Seven minutes later, police received another report of an alleged aggravated burglary and aggravated assault just one block west of the first residence, according to the affidavit. At 10:30 p.m., two men and two women at a home in the 800 block of Maine Street said Miller, whom they did not know, had entered their home and pointed a handgun at each of them.
As he walked through the residence, Miller allegedly told the victims that he “did not want to kill anyone.” Three of the four victims told officers they feared for their lives during the ordeal and were “traumatized.” Miller then left the home. Miller would later tell police he only went to the home “because he knew the police would be looking for him and going through the residence would be a short cut,” according to the affidavit.
Five minutes after that, officers were dispatched to a home in the 800 block of Maine Street. A man there reported at 10:35 that he was using his computer in his bedroom when he heard his bedroom doorknob turn and the door open slightly. This time, the suspect was met with a greeting instead of screaming.
“Hey, what’s up?” the man reportedly said to Miller. Miller said he responded with a “My bad,” before shutting the bedroom door and leaving the residence, according to the affidavit. The man said he thought Miller may have gotten into his home through an unlocked back door. Miller would later say he “failed miserably” at attempting to steal an item or items from the home, according to the affidavit.
It was only 17 minutes later when officers working the scene in the 800 block of Maine Street would hear the desperate cries of Mary and Jane.
Miller is currently in the Douglas County Jail on a $1 million bond as he awaits his two-day preliminary hearing in the case beginning Dec. 16. He is charged with rape, criminal threat, two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, four counts of aggravated burglary and four counts of aggravated assault. If he is convicted of the crimes, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
After his arrest, Miller reportedly told police in an interview that he committed the acts on Nov. 7 “to steal items that he could readily convert to cash” to pay bills and his vehicle’s tow fees, and to purchase methamphetamine.
According to the affidavit and the Kansas Department of Corrections, Miller was on probation for a 2012 aggravated battery conviction out of Wyandotte County at the time of the incidents on Nov. 7. According to Wyandotte County court documents, Miller had a criminal history score of H — meaning he had been convicted of just two misdemeanors — before his sentencing for his 2012 case.
The only other record in Douglas County District Court on Miller is from 2014 when he was evicted from a trailer home. Since then, according to the Douglas County Jail booking log, Miller had moved into a home in the 1300 block of Tennessee Street — about one mile from the string of crimes Nov. 7.
If you have any information on Miller or the alleged crimes on Nov. 7, call the Lawrence Police Department at (785) 830-7400.