Oakland County man beats girlfriend who lives in barn after breaking sex-for-alcohol deal, police say

Vernon Miller charged with felonious assault, aggravated domestic violence

Vernon George Miller Jr. (Oakland County Sheriff's Office)

BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An Oakland County man viciously beat his homeless girlfriend who lives in his barn after he went back on a sex-for-alcohol deal they agreed to, police said.

Officials said the incident happened July 21 at a home in the 2100 block of Seymour Lake Road in Brandon Township.

A 53-year-old woman told police she has known Vernon George Miller Jr., 58, of Brandon Township, for 40 years and that she was living in a pole barn on his property because she’s homeless.

Officials believe the woman lived in the pole barn for at least several weeks and had been in a relationship with Miller previously.

The woman said she agreed to have sex with Miller if he bought her alcohol in exchange, according to authorities. After they had sex, Miller got agitated and refused to buy the alcohol, the woman told police.

Miller started to hit the woman with his fist and a wooden baby/pet gate, authorities said. He stomped on her while she was on the ground, according to police.

Officials said the woman was assaulted for about 30 minutes, leaving her bloody and bruised. She suffered four broken ribs, a broken ankle and cuts to her head and face, authorities said.

The woman escaped by crawling out a window and hiding in a vehicle inside the pole barn, police said. She called deputies after Miller went to work, they said.

The woman was hospitalized for nearly a week, according to officials.

“Certainly, it is never acceptable to commit a violent act against another person, but this situation is all the more disturbing,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “It brings in elements of forced servitude and trafficking. We are pleased he is being held accountable for his behavior.”

Miller is charged with felonious assault and aggravated domestic violence. He was arraigned Saturday and released after posting 10% of his $25,000 bond.

As conditions of his bond, Miller isn’t allowed to have contact with the woman or return to his home. He has to wear an electronic tether and can’t leave the state without permission from the court, officials said.

Miller isn’t allowed to use alcohol, and he has to contact pretrial services weekly, according to authorities.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Aug. 2, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Records show Miller was convicted of fourth-degree fleeing and eluding in 2004 in both Oakland and Genesee counties and pleaded guilty in Wayne County to a drug charge in 2020.

A domestic violence charge was filed against Miller in 2018 in Oakland County, officials said. He was accused of assaulting a woman, but the charge was dismissed when she refused to cooperate with prosecutors, according to police.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.