Police: Tyler man charged with kidnapping, raping woman in the woods

Crime & Public Safety

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler man is behind bars facing several charges in an alleged rape and kidnapping last week in which a woman was held against her will.

Michael Timmons, 48, was arrested on Friday, March 12 after the victim accused him of the attack while she was being treated at a Tyler hospital.

According to a warrant obtained by KETK News, Timmons and the victim had been living in a tent for at least three days at the end of a dead-end road in Tyler. She told investigators Timmons used quilts to partially cover up two tents that he set up just away from public view while she was held captive.

The victim told detectives that they got into a fight and hit her over the head with a broken broom handle. The warrant said that the woman had “injuries to her face, arms, and legs.” There was also “a laceration to her forehead and… bruising and swelling to her right eye.”

The warrant states that during repeated beatings, he threatened to “kill and burn her.” He also “threatened to do things to her family.”

She also said Timmons had beaten her in the past. The victim said he would continuously sexually assault her in the tent, despite her trying to fight him off. The documents also state that the woman accused Timmons of making her take meth against her will and that he “becomes violent” when high.

The victim told police that she “was trying to think of a way to get to the public.” She told Timmons that they should go find a way to clean up and charge their phone.

When they came upon a Family Dollar store, she ran inside and pleaded for help. As she did this, Timmons ran off. Officer Andy Erbaugh with the Tyler Police Department said officers captured him later when he returned to the tent.

“We did find evidence when we got there of what the victim said about being tied up. We found evidence of what the victim said that she was struck with, and we found evidence of where she said she was sexually assaulted. So, we did find quite a bit of evidence,” said Erbaugh.

Timmons is charged with aggravated kidnapping, assault against a family member, and sexual assault. Erbaugh said the kidnapping charge was added because she was tied against her will despite initially moving there willingly.

Timmons has an extensive arrest history from minor traffic violations to three separate convictions of assault against family members.

His third guilty plea in 2003 led him to a 10-year prison sentence. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to a terroristic threat against a family member and spent just short of another year in prison.

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