UPDATE: Five charged with Donald Mills murder appeared in court

By: Morgan Lentes, Phil Pendleton, Angela Sparkman Email
By: Morgan Lentes, Phil Pendleton, Angela Sparkman Email
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KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) -
Update 8-1-14

Last week, a grand jury indicted five people for the murder of Donald Mills.

Police say Mills was shot in May when two people came to his home acting as police officers.

Friday, the five people appeared in court to answer to their charges.

Family members of murder victim Donald Mills filled the Knox County courtroom on Friday wearing t-shirts with his picture on it and asking for justice.

"That was my son. When I went across the hollow that morning, I didn't think that was the last time I'd see him alive, but it was. He died in my arms taking him to the hospital," said Phyllis Mills, his mother.

Five people are charged with murder in the case. The indictment says Patrick Baker and Christopher Wagner pretended to be U.S. Marshals to get in his home for a robbery. The indictment indicates Baker allegedly shot Mills in front of his children.

Baker was out on bond at the time of the indictment, but he went back to jail when the judge raised his bond last week.

Friday, the judge denied his request for a lower bond again.

"He needs to be in jail. He was the very one who killed him. He was the trigger man," said Phyllis Mills.

Angela Mills (aka Angela Brown), Elijah Messer, and Stephanie Smith are also charged with murder. Police say they helped plan the robbery that led to the death.

"It makes me feel mad what they done to him," said Phyllis Mills.

The Mills family says they plan to advocate for convictions and harsh sentences.

"They need the full maximum sentence they can get. If it's the death penalty, I'll agree 100 percent," said Phyllis Mills.

The family plans to be at the courthouse every time the five defendants appear in court.

The five defendants have all pleaded not guilty to the charges. No defense attorneys commented after court on Friday.

They will next appear in court for a pre-trial conference on September 5th. The judge says defense attorneys can file motions for lower bond at that time.
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Update 7-25-14

A Knox County grand jury indicted five people for the murder of Donald Mills earlier this year.

Police say in May, two men pretended to be U.S. Marshals, forced their way into Mills home, and shot and killed him.

The grand jury indicted Patrick Baker, 36, and Christopher Wagner, 36, on nine charges of murder, robbery, unlawful imprisonment, impersonating a peace officer, tampering with physical evidence, and four counts of wanton endangerment.

The grand jury also indicted Elijah Messer, 31, Angela Mills, 39, and Stephanie Smith, 42, on murder and complicity to robbery charges. Messer and Smith also have persistent felony offender charges.

The indictment claims Patrick Baker shot Donald Mills during the course of a robbery. It says Christopher Wagner engaged in the robbery which caused the death of Mills. The indictment says the two restrained Charlene Mills during the robbery which led to the unlawful imprisonment charge. The wanton endangerment charges are for the four other people in the home at the time of the shooting.

The indictment says Elijah Messer, Angela Mills, and Stephanie Smith aided in planning or committing the robbery which caused the death of Donald Mills.

All five pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday morning.

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Update: 5-27-14

We are learning more about the murder of an Eastern Kentucky father, shot to death during a home invasion while his wife and children were home.

Donald Mills was killed earlier this month in Knox County.

Police say two men, claiming to be police officers shot him.

Today we learned what police say led to the violence.

Four of the five people charged in Donald Mills death were in court this morning, the 5th one arrested late last week was being arraigned this afternoon.

Police say the motivation for the two men who burst into Mills Scalf home in the early morning hours of May 9th was to rob him of money and drugs.

Police say 36 year olds Patrick Baker and Christopher Bradley Wagner were the two who went in, both armed and pretending to be police officers.

They even had toy handcuffs bought at a local Dollar General.

30 year old Elijah Messer and 39 year old Angela Mills Brown waited in another vehicle outside.

Police say they received several statements of what was said after Mills was shot.

"Again making the comments, something went wrong, something went wrong, Mr. Baker said he had to to shoot, not sure if he struck him, he had to shoot the gun."

Police say Mills was a known drug dealer who allegedly dealt with a lot of cash and drugs, so much so that federal agents are about to get involved in the case.

The judge kept Baker and Wagner's bonds at a half million dollars each, but lowered it for Messer and Mills based on testimony that each had smaller roles in the murder.

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Update: 5-23-14

Kentucky State Police have arrested another person in connection with the murder of Donald Mills.

Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs issued the following release:

On May 22, 2014 at approximately 9:00 p.m. Kentucky State Police arrested Stephanie Smith, 42, of London, Ky and charged her with Murder. She is lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center. She was arrested in connection of the murder of Donald Mills. Case is still udder investigation by K.S.P. Det. Bryan Johnson.
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Update: 5-18-14

Police arrested two more people Saturday in connection with the murder of Donald Mills.

Kentucky State Police arrested Elijah Messer, 30, and Angela Mills, 39, just before 4pm.

Both are charged with murder.
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Update: 5-17-14

Kentucky State Police released the name of a second person arrested Friday in connection to the murder of Donald Mills.

Police say Christopher Wagner, 36, was arrested around 7pm Friday and is charged with murder.

Wagner was taken to the Knox County Detention Center.

We are told more arrests are pending in connection with the murder investigation.
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Update: 5-16-14

Officials with Kentucky State Police confirm one man has been arrested in connection to the murder of Donald Mills.

They tell us 36 year old Patrick Baker was arrested tonight and charged with murder.

State Police have taken a second person into custody for questioning.

They are not releasing their name at this time.

They do tell us more arrests are pending.
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UPDATED 6PM: 5-9-14

Kentucky State Police need your help finding two men they believe shot and killed a Knox County man early Friday morning.

It happened on Salt Gum Hollow Road in Knox County. Family members tell WYMT that Donald Mills was shot by two men posing as United States Marshals. His sister, Melinda Smith, told us he was killed right in front of his family.

Donald Mills was shot and killed at his home in Scalf, Kentucky around 5 a.m. Friday.

Trooper Shane Jacobs said Kentucky State Police is investigating the shooting.

"We know that two individuals entered into a residence, armed, both of those individuals acting as police officers," said Jacobs.

Investigators said the area where the shooting happened is very remote and that makes the fatal shooting unusual.

"It is not usual that two individuals will kick a door in and enter a residence acting as police officers," said Jacobs.

Detectives spent much of the day questioning friends and family of Mills. His father lives next door and told us off camera he heard gunshots early Friday morning. His sister said his sons are shaken but their father's death has not sunk in yet.

"My brother did give them a fight though. He just could not get to his gun on time," said Smith.

Donald Mills was 29-years-old.

Kentucky State Police are looking for two men driving a maroon, four door, Ford F150 with tinted windows and possible chrome accents.

If you see this truck, you are asked to call police.
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Police have released more information surrounding Friday morning's shooting in Knox County.

They say that Donald Mills, 29 of Scalf, was the victim of the deadly shooting.

Troopers tell us that two men posing as cops entered a home where Mills was at, started an altercation and then shot him multiple times.

The men escaped in a four-door Ford F-150 truck with tinted windows, a push bar and possibly chrome steps.

Anyone who has seen the truck or holds any information should call Kentucky State Police at (606) 573-3131.
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Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins says a man was shot and killed early this morning along Salt Gum Hollow Road.

Blevins says he pronounced the 29 year old dead at 6:55 a.m.

The name of the man has not yet been released.

Kentucky State Police troopers say that it happened around 5 a.m. They tell us someone entered a home, there was a struggle and a man was shot. We're told his wife drove him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

We have a reporter on their way to the scene and will bring you the latest as it become available.


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