Jamie Mills Alabama Death Row

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Jamie Mills

Jamie Ray Mills, was convicted of three counts of capital murder for the
killings of Floyd Hill and Vera Hill, and he was sentenced to death.

 June 24, 2004, the defendant, 30 year old Jamie Ray Mills, and his
common-law wife, JoAnn Mills, went to the home of Floyd and Vera Hill on
County Road 54 in Guin, Marion County, Alabama, for the purpose of
robbing them․ Mrs. Hill, 72 years old, was diabetic and in poor health
and was cared for by her husband of 55 years, Floyd Hill, a spry
gentleman 15 years her senior. At 87 years old, Mr. Hill cared for the
needs of his ailing wife, to include administering her prescription
drugs, which he kept in a locked tackle box on the kitchen table. To
ensure that her prescription drugs were administered properly and
timely, he set his alarm clock to alarm every four hours. Although the
Hills lived alone, their adult grandchildren who resided in the area
frequently checked on their grandparents. Although both Hills were
retired, they frequently held yard sales, no doubt more so to keep
themselves occupied and working than to augment their Social Security
income. Mr. Hill was known by the employees of the local Amoco service
station (where defendant Mills was last employed prior to the murders)
to carry large sums of cash in his pocket, always paying for his gas in
cash.
“ ‘Though Mills denied knowing either of the Hills, there
was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that Mills, out of
work at the time, certainly did know the Hills and preconceived a plot
to rid them of their cash ․ and, then brutally executed them with a
machete, tire tool and ballpeen hammer. A detailed factual account of
this horrendous, gutless and cowardly act follows.
“ ‘Shortly
after dark on June 24, 2004, following repeated failed attempts by
Angela Jones to check on her grandparents by phone, Jones went to the
residence of her grandparents, Floyd and Vera Hill. It appeared as if
the Hills were home; however, the door was locked and knocks on the door
resulted in no response. Angela summoned the Guin Police Department for
a welfare check. Officer Larry Webb arrived at the residence in
approximately three or four minutes. Upon Webb’s arrival, he was
informed by Angela Jones that her family had spoken to the Hills shortly
after 2:00 p.m., at which time they were fine. Officer Webb and Mrs.
Jones then knocked on the doors and windows with no response from the
Hills. Webb called the Hills’ home from his cell phone. It was detected
that the phone was ringing on his cell phone, but there was no
noticeable ring coming from inside the Hills’ home. Officer Webb then
shined his flashlight into the house from the front porch, and Angela
noticed that Vera Hill’s bed was empty and made, and her walker was in
the living room. Mr. Hill’s alarm was sounding for Mrs. Hill’s
medication, but no one stirred in the home. Mrs. Jones became fearful
that something was terribly wrong. Webb then moved to the pre-fabricated
building on the property (enclosed with x-type lattice and polyethylene
type plastic) where the Hills had yard sale items stored. Because the
door was padlocked, Webb pulled a small bench to the door and climbed up
on the bench to look over the door.
“ ‘Officer Webb saw Floyd
Hill lying on his back at the rear of the building in a pool of blood
with a bloody towel thrown over his face. Mr. Hill’s walking cane was
across his lower legs. Webb then saw Vera Hill lying on her right side
just inside the door. She was in a pool of blood and her head and face
were bloody. Vera Hill moved her left arm.
“ ‘At approximately
8:42 p.m., Webb notified 911 to send an ambulance, and then called for
additional backup (Guin Police Chief Bryan McCraw and District Attorney
Jack Bostick). Webb cut the plastic wall and tore away the lattice to
gain entrance into the building where he checked Vera Hill’s condition.
She was still breathing. Webb moved to Floyd Hill and found him to be
cold to the touch with no pulse. Webb then noticed several long bloody
gashes on Mrs. Hill’s head. When asked what happened, Vera Hill
repeatedly stated, “Let me out of here.” Once medical assistance had
arrived, Vera Hill was transported by ambulance to the Winfield
hospital. Floyd Hill was pronounced dead at the scene.
“ ‘The
scene was secured and a joint investigation was initiated by the Guin
Police Department, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, and the
Alabama Department of Forensic Science. The crime scene was processed,
photos were taken, blood samples were collected, and Vera Hill’s
clothing and fingernail clippings were obtained.
“ ‘During the
processing of the victims’ home and belongings, it was discovered that
Floyd Hill’s wallet, Vera Hill’s purse, and a green padlocked tackle box
containing Vera Hill’s medication had been taken from the residence
along with a police scanner, and the Hills’ phone, which had been cut
from the phone line.
“ ‘․ Upon completion of the autopsy of Floyd
Hill, the cause of death was determined to be blunt and sharp force
injury to the head and neck.
“ ‘Vera Hill later died on September
12, 2004 at the home of her daughter, Brenda Barger, while under the
care of Hospice, two and a half months after having been transferred
from the Winfield hospital to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where
she was treated for brain injuries, a depressed skull fracture on the
back of the head, fractures around her left eye, fractures to the nasal
cavity, broken/fractured neck, and crushed hands․ Upon completion of the
autopsy of Vera Hill, the cause of death in her case was determined to
be complications of blunt head trauma.
“ ‘At approximately 11:15
p.m. on June 24, 2004, Marion County District Attorney Investigators
Tommy Moore and Ken Mays interviewed the Hills’ next door neighbor,
Jennifer Yaden, at which time they were informed that Yaden had noticed a
white late model four-door sedan going by her house several times
earlier that day. She also observed this same vehicle parked in the
Hills’ drive. At approximately 12:05 a.m. on June 25, 2004,
Investigators Moore and Mays returned to the crime scene and discussed
with Guin Police Chief Bryan McCraw and Officer Larry Webb the
information they had obtained from Yaden. Both McCraw and Webb advised
the investigators of a local man named Jamie Mills who drove a white car
matching that described by Yaden. At this point, a patrol unit was sent
to the residence of Jamie and [his] wife, JoAnn Mills, but it appeared
as if no one was home. Investigator Moore asked Chief McCraw to send a
car to the Mills[es]’ residence on a regular basis to see if the
Mills[es] were home for questioning.
“ ‘At 9:45 a.m. on June 25,
2004, Guin Police Department Officers G.B. Blaylock and Stanley Webb
arrived at the Mills[es]’ residence to find Jamie and JoAnn Mills
attempting to leave their residence in a small white 1990 two-door
Nissan Infiniti M30. The officers pulled crossways of the drive,
blocking the Mills[es]’ attempted exit. Officer Blaylock then asked
Jamie Mills to back the car up in the drive so that Blaylock could talk
to him. After doing so, Jamie Mills was then transported to the Guin
City Hall for questioning about his whereabouts on June 24, 2004. At
this time, Jamie Mills denied any knowledge of the Hills and stated that
he and JoAnn were in Brilliant on June 24, 2004 looking at houses prior
to going to his father’s home ․ where he and JoAnn spent the night.

‘Marion County District Attorney Investigator Ted Smith and District
Attorney Jack Bostick arrived at the Mills[es]’ residence to question
JoAnn Mills, who was on probation at the time, regarding her whereabouts
at the time the Hills’ attack occurred. While being questioned by
Investigator Ted Smith, JoAnn Mills gave consent for the search of the
Mills[es]’ home, white two-door sedan, and the trunk of the vehicle. In
plain view in the car trunk was a green tackle box with a cut padlock
matching the description of the tackle box in which Vera Hill’s
medication was kept. Also in plain view was a large blue duffel bag that
appeared to be splattered with blood. At this time, JoAnn Mills was
read her Miranda rights, but she waived her rights and gave a statement.
Guin Police Chief Bryan McCraw and Officer [Larry] Webb were then
called to the residence and a search warrant was obtained. The search
was conducted by officers from the Marion County Drug Task Force, the
[Alabama Bureau of Investigation,] and the Guin Police Department.
During this time, Jamie Mills was transported back to his residence
where he was later placed under arrest for capital murder and
transported to the Marion County Jail.
“ ‘The search of the items
contained in the vehicle’s trunk revealed that the green tackle box
contained numerous pill bottles with prescriptions belonging to Vera
Hill. The duffel bag contained an assortment of items including one
large concrete block, one pair of size 12 tennis shoes with bloodstains
on them, one bloodstained pair of work pants with Jamie Mills'[s] name
on the inside tab, one black t-shirt with bloodstains, one pair of size
51/212 tennis shoes with bloodstains, one telephone with cut cord
attached, one man’s wallet containing the driver’s license of James
Floyd Hill, one ladies’ purse with papers identifying it as Vera Hill’s,
one machete with blood and hair on it, one ballpeen hammer with blood
on it wrapped in paper, and one lug nut tire tool. The items from inside
the trunk were itemized and photographed before the car, toolbox,
duffel bag and contents were handed over to forensic science for
examination.
“ ‘DNA analysis was later performed on the machete,
hammer, tire tool, black t-shirt and black pants. Test results revealed
that the primary source of blood found on the machete matched that of
Floyd Hill and the secondary source matched that of Vera Hill. The blood
found on the ball-peen hammer matched that of Vera Hill. The blood
found on the tire tool was a mixture, with Vera Hill being the major
contributor and Floyd Hill being the minor contributor. The blood on the
black t-shirt matched that of Vera Hill. The blood on the pants
(containing the tab with Jamie Mills'[s] name) matched that of Floyd
Hill.
“ ‘On August 22, 2007 during the trial of defendant Jamie
Mills, JoAnn Mills testified that on June 23, 2004, she and her husband,
Jamie Mills, had stayed up all night smoking methamphetamine at their
residence. On Thursday, June 24, 2004, they stayed at their residence
until around 5:00 p.m before going to Webster’s Market grocery (7270
U.S. Highway 43 in Guin, Alabama) to buy cigarettes. After the
cigarettes had been purchased, she and Jamie left Webster’s and stopped
in Fred’s [discount] store parking lot to talk to JoAnn’s cousin, Brandy
West. After leaving Fred’s parking lot, Jamie told JoAnn that he was
going to talk to a man about some money and for her to just follow his
lead. Upon reaching the Hills’ residence around 5:15 p.m., the Hills
allowed the Mills[es] into their home where Jamie attempted to make
several phone calls from the Hills’ phone as JoAnn sat and talked with
the Hills. According to JoAnn, Mr. Hill obviously knew Jamie and
referred to him by name. After Jamie had used the phone and both couples
had talked for awhile, Vera Hill wanted to show JoAnn Mills some of
their yard sale items that were stored in their shed. Due to the rainy
weather, Floyd Hill unlocked the padlocked building and opened the door
while Vera Hill, Jamie Mills and JoAnn waited on the porch. Floyd Hill
then returned and gave the women the umbrella so they could go on to the
building. Floyd Hill went back into the house to get a light fixture
and then returned to the building. After the Hills had shown the
Mills[es] their sale items, Jamie Mills continued to talk to Floyd Hill
in the shed while the two women proceeded to walk back to the porch.

‘JoAnn Mills then testified that she heard a loud noise and saw a
silhouette through the building’s plastic siding of what appeared to be
Jamie Mills with something raised over his shoulder “with both hands, as
if he was swinging something.” JoAnn Mills then followed Vera Hill back
into the shed to see what had happened. Upon entering the shed, JoAnn
saw Floyd Hill lying on the ground and saw Jamie Mills hit Vera Hill in
the back of her head with a hammer. When Mrs. Hill attempted to get up
he struck her again with the hammer.
“ ‘JoAnn further stated that
she stood with her eyes closed in the corner of the building as she
listened to the sound of Jamie Mills repeatedly striking Floyd and Vera
Hill. She could hear the sound of Jamie’s feet scuffling on the ground
as he went back and forth between the two victims. After the sounds of
Jamie striking the Hills stopped, JoAnn Mills was then handed a hammer, a
tire tool, and a machete by Jamie Mills and witnessed Jamie Mills place
a white towel over Floyd Hill’s head to silence the gurgling sounds
coming from Mr. Hill. Jamie and JoAnn Mills then exited the shed. Jamie
padlocked the door shut and the two went back into the Hills’ home.
Inside the Hills’ home, Jamie and JoAnn went through the house and took a
padlocked tackle box, Vera’s purse, the phone, and the police scanner
before leaving the residence and returning to their residence on County
Road 83.
“ ‘Upon reaching the Mills[es]’ residence, Jamie brought
all the items from the Hills’ residence into the kitchen. JoAnn took a
shower. Jamie and JoAnn then went through the items taken from the
Hills’ residence (wallet, purse, medication contained in the green
tackle box) and placed them along with the hammer, tire tool and machete
in a bag. The Mills[es] recovered about $140 cash from the Hills. Jamie
then took a shower and called Benji Howe, a known drug abuser in the
area. Benji Howe came over to the Mills[es]’ home and purchased some
pain pills. After Benji left the Mills[es]’ residence, Jamie and JoAnn
placed the bag containing the items from the Hills’ residence in the
shed on their property before going to Jamie’s father’s residence in
Hamilton, Alabama, to play dominos and spend the night.
“ ‘The
next morning, June 25, 2004, Jamie and JoAnn Mills returned to their
residence to find that dogs had torn into the bag containing the bloody
items from the Hills’ residence. JoAnn retrieved a large blue duffel bag
and the Mills[es] placed into the bag the machete, hammer, tire tool,
telephone, wallet, purse, the clothes the Mills[es] had worn at the time
of the attacks, and one heavy cement block. The Mills[es] then placed
the duffel bag in the trunk of their car along with the green tackle
box. As the two were leaving the residence to obviously dispose of the
duffel bag and tackle box, they were stopped by Guin Police Officers
G.B. Blaylock and Stanley Webb.’ “

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Comments

    • Stan Lore
    • March 11, 2020
    Reply

    Murdering a 87 y/o husband and his 72 y/o wife, both disabled, for a few dollars deserves a slow agonizingly painful death over the course of years. Poster child for the death penalty. Scumbag!!!

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