Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Friend held in teen's slaying

Police suspect killer also set fire to home

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BATAVIA — Randy Mills, a 29-year-old convicted sex offender and friend of slaying victim Chris Alford, 15, was held in lieu of $1 million bond Tuesday in the boy's death.

        Mr. Mills of Edgecomb Drive in Milford — just a few blocks from the Milford High School freshman's home — is charged with one count of murder.

Chris Alford
Chris Alford
        Prosecutors said they consider it a capital punishment case, meaning Mr. Mills could face the death penalty if convicted.

        Additional charges of aggravated arson and aggravated burglary will be filed, Milford police said following Mr. Mills' hearing Tuesday in Clermont County Municipal Court.

        The boy was beaten with a blunt instrument, county Prosecutor Don White said. Mr. Mills broke into the boy's Mohawk Trail home after the boys' grandparents left about 5 a.m. Monday, and then tried to cover up the attack by setting a fire in the boy's bedroom, police said.

        When asked about a possible motive, Milford police chief Larry Lantman replied: “Good question.”

        Mr. Mills, he said, had been in the home before and was known to Chris' family.

        Chris lived with his grandparents, who are his guardians, for many years, and was well-liked in the neighborhood and at school, friends and relatives said.

        The teen's family declined comment Tuesday.

        Mr. Mills pleaded guilty in April 1991 to gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, for having sex with a child under age 13 on Dec. 23, 1990. He was sentenced to two to five years in prison, but Clermont County Common Pleas Court Judge William Walker — citing Mr. Mills' lack of prior criminal record — suspended the prison sentence and fine, according to court documents.

        Judge Walker instead sentenced Mr. Mills to five years' probation.

        In a judgment of finding, Judge Walker wrote of Mr. Mills: “It is the opinion of the court that the defendant is not likely again to engage in an offensive course of conduct and that the public good does not require that the sentence be immediately executed.”

        Within a year of that probation sentencing, Mr. Mills was back in court — on another charge of gross sexual imposition involving sex with a minor.

        For the parole violation, Mr. Mills was sentenced to serve a prison term of not less than two years, according to court documents. Mr. White said Tuesday that Mr. Mills was released prior to completing the two-year sentence.

        Mr. Mills was working at a local Sav-a-Lot store when he was taken into custody Monday.


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