A Virginia woman who decapitated her boyfriend and stashed his head in the woods was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last week.
Roena Cheryl Mills, 43, who was charged with first-degree murder in the 2018 slaying of her 29-year-old boyfriend Bo White, was sentenced by Mercer County Circuit Judge Mark Wilis to spend the “remainder of her natural life” behind bars on Thursday, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported. She was convicted of killing the Lenora man on Dec. 5.
Authorities suspect Mills killed White at the man’s home on April 1, 2018 – April Fools' Day. She was arrested covered in blood after neighbors tipped off authorities, according to WVNS-TV. She claimed she had been thrown through a glass door and had a bloody glove on her left hand, authorities said. Police later retrieved the missing right glove from White’s home where the man's headless corpse was also discovered.
The jury deliberated for about two hours before reaching their verdict, the Register Herald reported and Mills remained composed as the judge read her sentence on Thursday.
The woman’s defense team, however, argued the cards were unfairly stacked against her. Sid Bell, Mills’ lawyer, had previously filed a motion to dismiss the jury’s verdict, insisting that his client had been wrongly accused, blaming sloppy police work, and pointing the finger instead at White’s father, Jimmie White, according to the Bluefield Telegraph.
Mills’ attorneys argued that Jimmie White, who they contended was at his son’s home the evening he was killed, murdered Bo White in a jealous rage. Bell pointed to a trove of swords and knives collected from Jimmie White’s residence, which the criminal defense lawyer argued his team had only learned of after the trial.
Prosecutors weren’t convinced.
“Is Jimmie White as clean and pure as the driven snow?” Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler rhetorically asked the jury, according to the Register Herald. “No…he’s a flawed man.”
During Mills’ trial, prosecutors introduced one witness who told the court how the Virginia woman asked to borrow gasoline and a chainsaw from him. Sitler had also previously argued witnesses had also overheard Mills make statements such as, “your head will be in my lap.”
“She just did not seem to be all there,” Sitler said according to WVNS-TV reporting.
Prior to her trial, a judge had ordered the woman to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Mill’s defense team also said prosecutors made “numerous references” alluding to the fact that Mills was a drug fiend during trial, a misleading characterization, Bell argued – alleging it ultimately prejudiced the jury’s verdict.
“No one testified about that,” Bell stated, the Telegraph reported. “The effect of that was to unfairly prejudice the jury against her and deny her a fair trial.”
Bell contended that prosecutors pointing out that Mills had a tattoo on her chest that read “A special kind of crazy" unfairly steered the jury towards a guilty verdict.
“There was no way jurors had any idea of that tattoo until the prosecutor gave the idea to them,” Bell stressed.
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