Tyler man accused of kidnapping, raping woman rejects plea offer

Crime & Public Safety

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler man charged in a brutal kidnapping and rape case has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and requested a jury trial.

Michael Timmons, 49, was arrested back in March and a warrant obtained by KETK News at the time alleges that Timmons and the victim had been living in a tent at the end of a dead-end road for at least three days. The woman told investigators he used quilts to partially cover up two tents that he set up just away from public view.

The warrant states that 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.

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

Smith County prosecutor Richard Vance offered a 45-year plea deal for all three charges and the sentences would run concurrently. Timmons rejected that offer and requested the case go to trial in the 7th District Court with Judge Kerry Russell presiding.

Russell explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an extensive backlog of cases and that there are currently more than 125 defendants wanting a jury trial just in his court. He also said it would likely be months before his trial could take place.

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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