Surrounded by power tools and mismatched pieces of neglected furniture, former Kentucky beauty queen Daniella Miles spends her afternoon repurposing items most people would cast off.
“ I love when you find an old beat up desk on the side of the road,” Miles said as she polishes an antique desk in her carport. She’s no stranger repurposing something ugly into something beautiful. You could say her hobby is symbolic of her own life, which seemed to take a downward turn about 7 years ago.
“The reigning Miss Kentucky Latina was taken into custody last week,” read an 2010 article in the Associated Press.
“She lost her crown because police say she went on a royal rampage,” WKYT reported.
“She goes bizzurk, stabbing a gas station attendee in the neck and then goes across the street and attacks a female pharmacist, literally beating her to a pulp,” Nancy Grace said during a 2010 show.
The headlines, though 7 years old, surfaced again last month when Miles began training to be a Mobile police officer.
“I did this to do something better for myself and for my family. I went ahead and applied. I got a phone call from MPD that they wanted to interview me. So, I went through the whole process. They polygraphed me. I had a psychological exam. I did a physical. I passed everything and joined the police academy at that point,” Miles said.
Miles told us that a few hours before the academy’s graduation ceremony, just after she picked up her new uniform from the cleaner, she received a call saying she no longer met MPD’s minimum standards.
“I was heart-broken. I mean I cried. I put in so much work and effort into it. It’s devastating for it to be taken away like that,” Miles said.
While MPD didn’t give her a specific reason other than a termination letter saying she no longer met minimum standards, Miles believes the resurgence of her past in a local news report played a role.
That’s why she decided to break her silence exclusively to WKRG about what happened so many years ago.
“My side of the story was never really told. So, no one really knows what really happened,” Miles said.
SLIDESHOW: From the MPD Training Academy
SLIDESHOW: From the MPD Training Academy x
In 2010, Miles, whose last name was Gaskie at the time, looked like she had it all as the reigning Miss Kentucky Latina.
“She had beauty! Brains! What happened?” Nancy Grace commented during her broadcast.
Everyone knows, though, looks can sometimes be deceiving.
“At the time, I was in an abusive relationship. I mean I was held as a trophy; trophy girlfriend and then wife,” Miles said about her relationship with Scott Bond; a man who made headlines of his own in Mobile in 2013 as a constable convicted of felony gun charges.
Miles claims that the day she was arrested, she had just gathered the courage to try to leave Bond and had too many drinks to cope with the distress.
“That day went from bad to worse. I was at [Bond’s] gun store. Nothing was going right. He was screaming and yelling at me in front of all kinds of people,” Miles said about what happened before she left the store.
“I had a few drinks. I do admit that of course. The whole thing was just bad. I got lost and I was trying to find my way back home. And, from what I remember, I confused a lady’s car which happened to be the pharmacist, with my car. I thought it was my car and it wouldn’t open. So, I was getting frustrated trying to break into her car when I thought it was mine.”
Police say Miles stabbed a gas station clerk with an ink pen and began beating the pharmacist who had walked outside.
“She immediately kicked me with her knee into my abdomen and ripped at me and tore my glasses off and ripped my neck and scratched me and busted my lip. Had a knot on my head. She was quite wild,” pharmacist Mary Ann McKinney told a local news station.
Miles was charged with Felony Assault and criminal mischief but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor versions of those. As part of her probation, a judge ordered that Miles couldn’t own a gun for two years.
SLIDESHOW: Daniela Miles’ Reign as Miss Kentucky Latina
SLIDESHOW: Daniela Miles’ Reign as Miss Kentucky Latina x
“It is like a psychological warfare from Hell”
Miles said after the arrest, she went back to Bond because she says she felt alone. She said she never understood how women in violent relationships keep going back to their abuser until she found herself in the middle of one.
“It took a while for me to open up my eyes to that and finally get the strength and courage to get out it and it’s hard. A lot of people don’t understand that, and ask, ‘ well why is she still there.’ It’s psychological. I mean it is like a psychological warfare from hell.”
Miles said the two of them moved to Texas and eventually to Mobile, where Bond was eventually arrested on gun charges while acting as a Mobile Constable.
“He had done some illegal things with the gun stores and that finally caught up to him,” Miles said.
Miles says she finally gathered the courage to leave him and married a Prichard police officer who, in 2014, was seriously hurt after he was dragged nearly half a mile hanging outside a moving vehicle when a suspect tried to leave in the middle of a traffic stop.
Miles said that’s when the seed was planted in her head to apply to be a police officer — when her husband could no longer do the job he loved.
SLIDESHOW: Former Beauty Queen re-purposing her life and furniture
SLIDESHOW: Former Beauty Queen re-purposing her life and furniture x
“There are still good people out there who need help. It’s a selfless profession and I’m already a selfless person with my family. I’m a very giving person, so it just fit,” Miles said about her daily tasks of taking care of a two-year-old, a father with dementia and her husband who suffers from PTSD.
While she won’t be able to pursue her career as a Mobile Police officer, she’s hopeful other departments might consider her as a candidate. In the meantime, Miles spends her afternoon painting and re-purposing furniture to sell on Facebook. She says she first started the hobby as a mental escape when she was dealing with domestic violence, but now she says she’s using it as a source of income.
Miles knows that unlike the furniture she sands and paints and transforms, she can never completely paint over her own past. But, she hopes someone will be willing to giver her a second chance.
A spokesperson for MPD, said they cannot comment on personnel matters.