Franklin County murder suspect has previous manslaughter conviction

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. – WHNT News 19 is learning more information on the man sheriff’s deputies say murdered his roommate over the weekend in Franklin County.

Jerry Mills

Escorted by deputies, 63-year-old Jerry Mills was walked out of the Franklin County Courthouse Tuesday morning following a bond revocation hearing. Mills was arrested Sunday evening following a shooting at his home on Block Church Road. Detectives say Mills shot and killed 39-year-old Jason Baker who had been staying with Mills.

“We still have some evidence we are going through,” explained Sheriff Shannon Oliver. “A lot of work to be done on yet to really find out and put a definite synopsis of what we think happened.”

Right now detectives believe the shooting may have had something to do with money. This is not the first time Mills has been escorted to and from the Franklin County Courthouse.

In 2012, Mills was convicted of manslaughter in a separate shooting and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals later overturned that conviction, and Mills has been free on bond awaiting a new trial.

According to court records, until Tuesday’s hearing to revoke his bond, there has not been any movement in a retrial for Jerry Mills since early 2014.

Sheriff Oliver said there is no doubt Mills was a threat to the community even before the weekend shooting.

“It is very bizarre,” said Oliver. “This has been going on a long time and I feel like it should have been something that was resolved some time ago.”

As for Mills now, he will remain locked away until a trial.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office detectives say there were no signs of a struggle inside the residence after the shooting. WHNT News 19 is told Jerry Mills called 911 after the incident to alert authorities.

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