"If ever there was a case where life without mercy was appropriate, it’s this case," says prosecutor.
Roena Mills has the words "special kinda crazy" tattooed across her chest, which might lend itself to explain a little bit about what kind of woman she is.
Back in 2018, on Easter Sunday in West Virginia, a body was discovered at a Clover Lane home. A gag order was placed on the media at that time so no further details were released until April 9. At that time, the public learned that Roena Cheryl Mills, 41 of Rural Retreat, Va., was taken into custody in connection to the crime. The body of Bo White, 29 of Lerona, was found decapitated inside of the residence.
“According to the complaint, this was a decapitation homicide,” said Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler at the time. “That’s how it appears.”
A criminal complaint viewed by WV Metro News said authorities were called to the area of Eden Valley Road earlier on April 1 after witnesses saw Mills “covered in blood wearing a glove on her right hand”. The document also indicated she was under the influence. While en route for further questioning, she allegedly kicked a dividing wall in the cruiser multiple times and shouted “you have to take me back and let me get my heads”.
Later the same day, investigators received a call about a murder on Clover Lane, at which point they discovered the headless body of Bo White.
When being interviewed, Mills told authorities that she had been thrown through a glass door. She had one bloody glove on her left hand. Police later found the matching right glove in White’s home where the man's headless corpse was also discovered. Bo White's head was later recovered in the forest not far from his home.
Evidence found that Mills, who was an exotic dancer by trade, was in a relationship with Bo White's father, James White. The pair had met at a strip club called Southern X-Posure, where it has been alleged that some dancers are known to trade sexual favors for drugs.
Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler described Bo White as a “sickly, introverted boy” who was 29 years old and played with Star Wars figures. He lived alone, but he had money thanks to a disability check. While the defense had a theory that Jimmy White was complicit in his son's death, Sitler brushed it off.
“Is Jimmy White as clean and pure as the driven snow?” Sitler said to the jury. “No…he’s a flawed man.” Was he complicit in his son’s death? Possibly. The prosecution did acknowledge that Jimmy White brought Bo White into a world of drug abuse. “His father had introduced him to a manipulative woman,” Sitler said. “She knew Bo had a pocket full of pills and a pocket full of cash.”
During the trial, it was revealed that James White also had a drug problem. He did not want to face facts when he found his son's body. According to Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler, “He wanted to get high. That’s what junkies do. That’s how they deal with life or don’t deal with it.”
The court saw no emotion out of Mills who is now convicted of slaughtering, torturing, and beheading 29-year-old Bo White. She maintained a cold demeanor throughout the trial.
The jury deliberated for almost two hours before reaching a verdict. In West Virginia, first-degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison. If a conviction comes with a recommendation of mercy, a person could be eligible for parole after serving 15 years of the sentence. The jury did not recommend mercy for Mills.
Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler told WVNS , "If ever there was a case where life without mercy was appropriate, it’s this case. This was a savage killing and decapitation." He continued after the verdict: “She savors what she’s done. She revels in it. She thinks it’s the greatest achievement of her life, and I think that’s what affected the jury."