Man convicted of crimes against girlfriend

Indiana man faces 15-25 years in prison
Nov. 21, 2012 @ 12:02 AM

A man accused of holding his girlfriend against her will for five days in a Pigeon Forge motel has been convicted by a Sevier County jury.

Ernest Howard Pyle, 47, of Milan, Ind., was found guilty of two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and one count of resisting arrest after a two-day trial which ended on Friday, Nov. 16.

The case was investigated by Detective Kenny Bean of the Pigeon Forge Police Department. Assistant District Attorney General Ashley McDermott prosecuted. Circuit Judge Richard Vance will sentence Pyle on Jan. 23. He faces 15-25 years on the kidnapping convictions, and a year on the resisting-arrest conviction.

The crimes occurred at the Grand Inn Hotel in Pigeon Forge in late February and early March of 2010. During the trial the evidence showed that Pyle and his girlfriend were on the run from charges he faced in Ripley County, Ind.

When the girlfriend, Kathy Miller, then 30, of Cincinnati decided that she wanted to return to Indiana, Pyle was accused of attacking her, attempting to strangle her and beating her. He then held her against her will for five days at the hotel, officials said. He handcuffed her, raped her, and threatened her life with various tools he purchased, including a hammer, pliers, and a drop cloth.

Police Chief Jack Baldwin said at the time the couple came to the area together and had stayed for several days when Pyle turned hostile and held the woman against her will.

“That’s what it appears,” Baldwin said. “They came supposedly on vacation and after they got here he tied her up and was threatening to do her bodily harm. He was threatening to kill her...

“He told her he’d hit her in the head with a hammer and wrap her up in plastic and leave her on the side of the road.”

Pyle tried to flee when police approached him after the woman escaped. Officers found the plastic, duct tape and tools in the room, Baldwin said at the time.