ST. GEORGE — A second suspect has been arrested following the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Shane Davis, who was found in the garage of a home in Minersville with a gunshot wound to the chest.
A Minersville woman, 28-year-old Victoria E. Woerth, has been charged with aggravated murder and criminal solicitation, both first-degree felonies, as well as conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, a second-degree felony.
The charges were filed in connection with an incident that took place during the early morning hours of Sept. 26, when Beaver County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home located on the 300 block of West 100 South in Minersville on a report of a shooting.
According to court records, officers arrived to find the man, later identified as Davis, slumped over in the garage of the residence with a wound to his back near the left shoulder area. He was transported to Beaver County Hospital by ambulance where he died shortly after arrival from what the report stated was a gunshot wound to the chest.
Later that morning, deputies located Mike Allen Miller in a vehicle parked nearby. He also had a 9mm handgun on the seat next to him, the same weapon allegedly used in the shooting. Miller reportedly told investigators he shot the victim and that he “thought he was protecting other residents in the home.”
Initially, the report states, Miller told investigators he did not feel any remorse for his actions.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives found no evidence that Miller faced any immediate threat of serious bodily injury when the alleged shooting took place, and the suspect was transported and booked into the Beaver County Jail. He was later charged with first-degree murder and held without bail.
Authorities say, over the course of the next six weeks, investigators came to believe that Miller did not act alone. The evidence collected during the execution of a number of search warrants in connection with the case revealed that a second suspect, Woerth, the victim’s wife, was also reportedly involved.
At the scene, deputies collected a number of cell phones that were stored as evidence. Investigators later learned from one of the witnesses that Woerth’s cell phone might contain messages sent from a social media application that could provide additional information relating to a possible motive for the shooting, the report states.
Investigators also learned that several individuals inside of the home at the time of the shooting were in communication with each other, and there may have been communications that took place prior to the incident.
Authorities then received information relaying that Woerth, who was married to the shooting victim at the time of his death, was purportedly in a relationship with Miller, the suspect, at the time of the shooting. Investigators then received a tip stating that just before the incident, Woerth was overheard saying “the only way Mike can marry her is if Shane is dead,” the detective noted in the report.
Following the execution of a search warrant, detectives received the social media message threads outlining messages sent Sept. 11-12 between Miller and Woerth, when the pair allegedly discussed various possibilities to end Davis’ life, including the following message allegedly sent from Miller to Woerth stating the use of “rat poison bleach other certain cleaning chemicals in the right place at the right time goes a long way.”
Woerth then reportedly replied by messaging “that is all traceable,” adding “it would be easier if he like lost breaks in the pass,” referring to her husband’s vehicle, to which Miller replied he “could make that happen.”
As the thread continues, it revealed several messages from Miller that offered other options, including those that would make it appear as a death caused by “natural cause or suicide,” and Miller added these were actions he was “no stranger to.”
Woerth then allegedly wrote that she would rather it “look an accident” as it would be the only way she could keep the house.
The thread continued with a message from Miller stating “It’ll just be me. I’m good at what I do you know this,” as recounted in the report.
The communication ended with a message from Woerth telling Miller “Just don’t get caught,” to which he replied “Never,” the report states.
Less than three weeks later, Davis was found in the garage in Minersville with a gunshot wound to the chest.
On Monday, formal charges as listed were filed by the Beaver County Attorney’s Office and a warrant was issued for the suspect’s arrest. The suspect was arrested at 8 p.m. that evening and booked into the Beaver County Jail where she remains without bail.
The information gleaned during the investigation led to enhanced charges for Miller, who initially faced one count of murder, when the state amended the charge to first-degree felony aggravated murder. A second charge – conspiracy to commit aggravated murder – was added as well.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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