Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Man gets life in fatal beating

He set fire to teen's bedroom after attack

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIAMI TOWNSHIP — Randy Mills, a 29-year-old convicted sex offender facing a possible death sentence for fatally beating a 15-year-old last November, has reached a plea agreement that will spare his life.

        Assistant Clermont County Prosecutor Daniel Breyer said Tuesday that Mr. Mills entered guilty pleas before Judge William Walker in Clermont County Common Pleas Court Friday to charges of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, arson and kidnapping.

        The judge sentenced Mr. Mills to life in prison for the homicide and 10 years in prison on each of the three other counts, each to run consecutively.

        In return, the death penalty specifications were dropped. The case had been set for trial in October.

        “He'll be 30 this Sunday,” Mr. Breyer said. “The earliest he would be eligible (for a parole hearing for the murder) is in 50 years.”

        Mr. Mills, of Edgecomb Drive in Milford, lived a few blocks from his victim, Chris Alford, a Milford High School freshman.

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

        Milford Police Chief Larry Lantman said Mr. Mills had been in the home before and was known to Chris' family. Chris lived with his grandparents, who are his guardians, for many years. No motive for the killing has been revealed.

        Mr. Mills pleaded guilty in April 1991 to gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, for having sex with a child under age 13. He was sentenced to two to five years in prison, but Judge Walker — then citing Mr. Mills' lack of criminal record — suspended the prison sentence and fine and gave Mr. Mills five years' probation, according to court documents.

        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. Mills was released prior to completing the two-year sentence.


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