Retrial averted with victim's OK

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Lewisburg man who has been in prison for 11 years could be free next year.

Randall Mills, 56, will not have a new trial on the charge of rape of a child, for which he was convicted in 1999. This conviction relied heavily on DNA evidence as well as the victim's testimony. Mills started serving an effective 20-year sentence in January 2000. After a series of hearings that started last year, Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler overturned Mills conviction on the rape charge, ruling in February that the DNA evidence was conflicting and Mills could have a new trial.

The conviction on three counts of aggravated sexual battery, which did not rely on DNA evidence, was left in place. Mills was sentenced to nine years and six months at 100 percent on those charges, and has already served 11 years.

The agreement to resolve the case that was reached Wednesday increases Mills' sentence on the sexual battery charges to 12 years, Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard explained.

Barnard said he had talked with the victim and her mother in his office, and the victim, whose testimony would be crucial in a new trial, did not want to proceed further.

"This disposition is her wish," Barnard said after court Wednesday.