Appeal on other charges anticipated in DNA case

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Lewisburg man who might get a new trial because of conflicting DNA evidence in his case made a brief appearance in Circuit Court Wednesday.

Randall Ray Mills, 55, is due back in court on March 9 for a bond hearing. His defense attorneys, Hershell Koger of Pulaski and Craig Cooley from the Innocence Project's new York office, are reported to be in negotiations with the District Attorney's office on how to proceed in the matter of Mills' bond and future trial.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler has already ruled that Mills should have a new trial on the rape charge for which a jury returned a guilty verdict in 2000.

This week, Mills' attorneys advised the court they would file an appeal for a new trial on the other charges for which he was convicted: three counts of aggravated sexual battery.

Mills has already served all the time on his sentence for the sexual battery charges.

The appeal has to be filed within a certain time period to preserve the defendant's right to appeal but, for procedural and other reasons, appeals can be withdrawn.

It appears that Mills is seeking complete exoneration for the assault he is alleged to have committed in 1999, and for which he has served more than 10 years in prison. A new trial on the rape conviction may result in a not-guilty verdict, depending on how a jury evaluates the conflicting testimony on DNA evidence. In a new trial on the sexual battery charges, however, a jury would have to hear testimony from the victim.