As members of murder victim Donald Mills looked on, four people charged in connection with his death were arraigned Monday in Knox District Court.
One by one, Patrick Baker, Christopher Wagner, Angela Mills, and Elijah Messer entered not guilty pleas before Judge W.L. “Skip” Hammons.
The four all face charges of murder in the May 9 shooting death of Donald Mills at his residence on Salt Gum Hollow Road at Stinking Creek.
According to police, two masked assailants broke into Mills’ home in the early morning hours of May 9. Once inside, police say an altercation happened and Mills was shot.
Baker and Wagner were arrested Friday, while Mills and Messer were arrested Saturday.
The victim’s sister, Melinda Smith, spoke to reporters following Monday arraignment.
“It has been like a nightmare for the past nine days. But like I said, they had their joy ride for a week and didn’t think they’d get caught. But they will get justice for what they done,” she said.
Smith said she first learned about the shooting from a Mountain Advocate Facebook post, but was not able to reach other family members for details.
“My husband drove out there. He came back down the road, pulled up in the middle of the yard and just shook his head at me. I said ‘is he dead’ and he said ‘yeah,” she said.
According to Smith, her mother arrived at the scene just as two of the accused suspects were coming out, adding that one of them pointed a gun at her head and said they were U.S. Marshals.
“She said she will never get over that,” Smith said.
Smith vowed that she and other family members will see that justice is served. “We can’t bring him back, but they are going to pay for what they did to my brother. Every time there is a court date, we will be here,” she said.
All four suspects are due back in court Tuesday, May 27 for a preliminary hearing.