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Suspect released in Yoakum sexual assault cases

By LESLIE WILBER
May 5, 2009 at 12:05 a.m.
Updated May 6, 2009 at 12:06 a.m.


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YOAKUM - A man who had been jailed since March on charges he sexually assaulted an elderly woman was freed Tuesday.

"The defendant's DNA did not match. Defendant was not picked out of the lineup," Lavaca County District Attorney Heather Hollub wrote in a letter asking jailers to release 42-year-old Calvin Lee Miller.

Miller was released from the Lavaca County Jail late afternoon Tuesday.

"He was overcome with indescribable emotion to breathe the air of freedom," said Bill Caraway, one of Miller's lawyers.

Miller was charged with sexually assaulting a 79-year-old woman in February and robbing a 66-year-old woman in January. The women lived near each other and were both attacked in their homes in the early morning hours. He was arrested March 4.

On Monday, DeWitt County District Attorney Michael Sheppard dropped aggravated robbery charges against Miller.

Yoakum is in both DeWitt and Lavaca counties.

This is the information that led to Miller's arrest, according to an arrest warrant affidavit:

Someone told Yoakum Police investigator Lee Campbell that Miller was buying cocaine with cash, although he was unemployed. Miller matched the victims' descriptions of a soft-spoken black man.

Campbell called Miller into the police department. The men shook hands, and Campbell used a gauze strip to capture Miller's scent. Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office K-9 handler Keith Pikett arranged a scent line using the gauze. Three dogs identified Miller's scent.

But investigators also had DNA evidence. The DNA tests excluded Miller as a match in April, Caraway said.

Miller was taken to Victoria County for a line up Friday, where he was not identified, Sheppard said.

Campbell would not talk about the case Tuesday.

"I'm not supposed to talk about it," Campbell said. "You need to talk to the chief."

Chief Arthur Rogers did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Police called the Texas Rangers to help investigate the case in April.

"This is their case," Victoria-based Ranger Jim Kaelin said.

Miller made $10,000 bail on a cocaine possession charge that resulted from a search of his room after he was arrested, Caraway said.

With no arrest, some Yoakum residents are concerned for their safety.

"I just hope they get the right person if he's not the right one," said Joyce Grubert. The 81-year-old woman installed a security system in her home and began locking doors behind her after the attacks, she said.

"A lot of my friends have, too," she said.

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