Wade on Birmingham

Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks: Danny Ray Miles


In August, we’re celebrating Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks, whether they be liars, thieves, extortionists, swindlers or thugs. Running daily until Birmingham mayor Larry Langford’s Aug. 31 federal trial. Thanks to Bhamwiki for helping with this project.

Danny Ray Miles

Positions held: bartender, felon and federal witness

Wanted for: murder, kidnapping and robbery

Date of conviction: 1977

Sentence: life in prison

Criminally fun fact: Born Danny Milar, Miles hid guns in his garage in Ohio before testifying against the gun-running operation. The Witness Protection Program moved him to Florida, then Birmingham, where he was given a job tending bar at Pat James Tavern on Southside.

He and Samuel Yarber kidnapped and murdered two men on Nov. 3, 1975. Police recovered 17 bullets from the bodies and the ground. Miles, denied parole in 2007, will have another parole hearing in 2012.

Barbara Bearden, sister of Miles’ victim Ronald White, co-founded victims’ rights group Victims of Crime and Leniency.

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