murder of Jimmy Mills
Posted in the Hot Springs Forum
#1 Mar 18, 2010
not sure if this will work but I found the thread through google......
#2 Mar 18, 2010
Jimmy Mills body was found in 2003 wrapped in a tablecloth, covered in a garbage bag and dumped over the hill in Big Double Creek Park in Clay County. Evidence showed he was shot three times with a pistol at close range.
"I knew something was wrong because he was supposed to go to a meeting and he didn't show up to it," said Mills wife, Donna.
She visited his gravesite often, wondering what happened. It was two years before anyone was convicted for his murder. Eight people were charged in connection in someway with killing him in a trailer and dumping the body. Three men were finally convicted of his murder in 2005 on an accomplice principal meaning they couldn't prove who pulled the trigger. Now, two years after the conviction, the Supreme Court says there was more wrong with the case and unanimously have thrown out the murder conviction of brothers Tim and Shannon Finley and the conviction of Brock Bowling is sent back to the Clay County Circuit Court where he could get a new trial.
The Supreme Court cited several reasons for changing the decision made by a Clay County jury. It says the trial court did not give the jury the correct instructions for Tim and Shannon Finley or Brock B and says the Commonwealth's evidence did not prove that the brothers could be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court did however uphold the decision for Shannon Finley and Brock Bowlings' convictions for tampering with physical evidence. The court said the strongest case remained against Brock Bowling and reversed his murder conviction back to Clay County.
20 days to petition the Supreme Court for a rehearing has now come to an end and the attorney general says his office did not appeal it.
"Our attorneys looked at that and decided it would be fruitless to do that," said Attorney General Greg Stumbo.
We tried to contact Commonwealth Attorney Gary Gregory to see if his office would appeal the decision, but he did not return our calls. The Supreme Court says if it does not receive a petition by Thursday morning, the opinion will be finalized.
The department of corrections says it will wait on the Supreme Court to inform them on when the men can be released.
#3 Mar 18, 2010
When viewed in its totality, the circumstantial evidence against Brock creates a
sufficiently detailed and complete picture of the crime upon which a jury could
find Brock guilty of Mills murder. The key difference in Brock's case, as opposed to
either Finley brothers, is that the commonwealth presented evidence placing Brock
with Mills prior to his death. Furthermore, the fact that Mill was shot three times at
close range is sufficient evidence from which the jury could conclude that the killing
was intentional. A jury can also infer intent from conduct subsequent to the crime,
including attempts to conceal the crime.
This was copied from the supreme courts ruling....
#4 Mar 18, 2010
Mills went home and spent the evening with his wife, Donna Mills. The next
morning, Mills left around 7:45 a .m. According to Donna, his plan was to meet with his
attorney in London at 2:00 p.m . and then travel to the Cincinnati airport to retrieve his
luggage, which had been abandoned upon his arrest in Atlanta. He further explained
that he wanted Brock Bowling to accompany him, but that Brock's wife had a doctor's
appointment. Instead, Mills told Donna that Josh Crabtree would make the trip with him.
#5 Mar 18, 2010
Before he left, Mills also said to Donna, "I think they've robbed me," although he did not
clarify to whom he was referring. He then indicated that he was going to Brock's house,
and departed. When he left, according to Donna, Mills was wearing sweat pants. She
testified that he would not have gone to his attorney's office dressed that way, indicating
her belief that he intended to return home prior to leaving for the trip to London and Cincinnati
#6 Mar 18, 2010
The following day, Mills' body was found at the bottom of a ravine in Big Double
Creek Park. The body was spotted by Donna Mills' cousin, Jimmy Henson, while he
was deer hunting.
Mills had been shot three,times with a pistol. The body was
wrapped in a tablecloth and covered with a garbage bag . An area rug was also found at
the crime scene; investigating officers surmised that the body had been wrapped in the
rug but had come loose as it rolled down the ravine .
#7 Mar 18, 2010
Mary Begley, a neighbor of
Dennis Bowling, testified that the area rug looked "similar" to one that he owned .
#8 Mar 18, 2010
Five days later, a trailer rented by Dennis Bowling caught fire at about four in the
morning . Brock was present at the trailer, fully dressed, when it burned. Because the
trailer was not insured by its owner, Darryl Collins, no arson investigation was
conducted. After this initial fire, Brock asked Collins if he could tear or burn down what
remained of the trailer . Speaking on behalf of his brother, Brock explained that Dennis
was expecting a home visit from the attorney appointed to represent his children in a
custody dispute . Apparently, Dennis desired to replace the trailer prior to the home
visit. Collins agreed, though he testified to his belief that the trailer would be bulldozed,
not burned again. The remaining portions of the trailer were burned down and hauled
away by Shane Wagers and Joseph Collins .
#9 Mar 18, 2010
Wagers and Collins both testified at trial regarding the circumstances of this
second fire at the trailer. Collins stated that he had seen Brock's car near the trailer as
it burned. Wagers alleged that Shannon Finley had set the fire. According to Wagers,
he saw Shannon Finley and another man, Shannon Begley, get a red gas can off a
truck. The two men left for some time, and when they returned Wagers said they were
"wet" and "in a hurry." Moments later, Wagers heard fire trucks headed towards Dennis
Bowling's trailer . A red gas can was found lying on the floor of the trailer following the fire
#10 Mar 18, 2010
Wagers further testified that, the following day, Brock approached him about
burning down or hauling away the remains of the trailer for $100 . Wagers agreed and
did the job with Collins. Wagers also stated that Timothy Finley later approached him
and asked him to "change his story," but that he didn't know what Timothy was talking
about. However, on cross-examination, Wagers admitted his belief that Timothy wanted
him to say that Darrel Collins - not Brock - had asked him to remove the trailer's
About a month later, Mills' vehicle was
#11 Mar 18, 2010
About a month later, Mills' vehicle was located in a remote area of Leslie County
near Ulysses Creek by two horseback riders . The location is near the Clay County line.
According to the responding officers, the vehicle was found at the top of an ATV trail
that had grown over. Fingerprints were lifted from the vehicle, as well as 47 trace
samples, including hair, particles, and fabric. None of these trace samples matched
Brock and Dennis Bowling, or Shannon and Timothy Finley. However, Ronald Collins testified that he saw Brock walking near the Clay County/Leslie County line on the
morning that Mills' body was found
#12 Mar 18, 2010
The investigation into Mills' murder then languished for about six months. The
following July, Christine Gibson gave a statement to the lead investigator, Detective
Hopkins. At the time, Gibson was in jail on domestic violence charges and, according to
her own testimony, she gave the statement in order to get out of jail. She told Detective
Hopkins that she witnessed her husband, J . C . Gibson, helping Brock Bowling and the
Finley brothers disposing of Mills' body. Her testimony at trial, however, was less
detailed and excluded her husband . At trial, Gibson testified that she and her husband
had seen Brock Bowling and the Finley brothers at about three o'clock in the morning
#13 Mar 18, 2010
on the day Mills' body was found . The three were in a red pickup truck near the
entrance to Double Creek Park. The Gibsons followed them just inside the park's
entrance, where they stopped so Christine could use the restroom. When she got out of
her own vehicle, Christine stated she got a closer look at the truck and saw that there
was an area rug rolled up in the back of the truck, and that something appeared to be
#14 Mar 18, 2010
inside the rug . J . C. Gibson corroborated this testimony. However, J . C . further testified
that the following day, Brock and Timothy asked him whether "the law" had been up in
the park that morning . Notably, the Gibsons' testimonies differed as to who was driving
their own vehicle that night. Christine testified that J. C . was driving, while J. C. testified
that Christine was driving. Both admitted that they had been using cocaine and other
prescription medications the entire day before witnessing this incident
#15 Mar 18, 2010
Two months later, a Clay County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging
eight individuals with involvement in Mills' death : Brock Bowling, Dennis Bowling,
Timothy Finley, Shannon Finley, Angela Fox, Shane Wagers, Joseph Collins, and J. C.Gibson .
#16 Mar 18, 2010
Joseph Collins pled guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit arson and
tampering with physical evidence in exchange for a probated sentence of two years.
Shane Wagers, who had been indicted on charges of arson and tampering with physical
evidence, pled guilty and received a two-year sentence with pretrial diversion in
exchange for his testimony at trial. J. C. Gibson's two counts of tampering with physical
evidence were dismissed in exchange for his testimony. Identical charges against
Angela Fox were likewise dismissed in exchange for her testimony. The remaining
indictees - Brock Bowling, Dennis Bowling, Timothy Finley and Shannon Finley -proceeded to trial.
#17 Mar 18, 2010
They were tried jointly. Following the close of all evidence, Dennis Bowling
moved for a directed verdict of acquittal, which was granted . The remaining defendants
- Brock Bowling, Timothy Finley and Shannon Finley - were each found guilty of
murder under a combination principal-accomplice instruction. Brock and Shannon were
also found guilty of tampering with physical evidence for the destruction of the trailer.
Each received a sentence of twenty years' imprisonment. Brock and Shannon received
an additional one-year sentence for the tampering with physical evidence charges, to be served concurrently.
#18 Mar 18, 2010
The Commonwealth's strongest case was against Brock. Angela Fox's
testimony more deeply implicated Brock in a drug trafficking ring with Mills. She
testified that she had once witnessed Brock purchase over a thousand dollars worth of
drugs from Mills. Significantly, she attested that Mills stored money obtained through
his drug dealing operations at Brock's home . Donna Mills testified that Mills said he
was going to see Brock just before he departed, and that he said, "I think they've robbed me"
#19 Mar 18, 2010
The day after the murder allegedly occurred, Brock was seen walking along the
county line, near the area where Mills' vehicle was ultimately found . J . C. and Christine
Gibson testified that they saw Brock, with the Finley brothers, entering Double Creek
Park in the middle of the night with a rolled-up area rug in the back of their pickup truck.
Of course, Mills' body was found in the same park shortly thereafter, along with an area
rug . The testimony of Wagers and Collins involved Brock in the destruction of his
When viewed in its totality, the circumstantial evidence against Brock creates a
.sufficiently detailed and complete picture of the crime upon which a jury could find Brock
guilty of Mills' murder. The key difference in Brock's case, as opposed to either Finley
brother, is that the Commonwealth presented evidence placing Brock with Mills prior to
his death. Furthermore, the fact that Mills was shot three times at close range is
sufficient evidence from which the jury could conclude that the killing was intentional . A
jury can also infer intent from conduct subsequent to the crime, including attempts to
conceal the crime. Parker v. Commonwealth, 952 S .W.2d 209 (Ky. 1997).
evidence was sufficient to overcome a directed verdict motion as to the murder-principal
charge against Brock. Cf Nugent, 639 S .W.2d at 763-64.(circumstantial evidence was
sufficient to support conviction where victim was last seen going to defendant's
business to conduct drug transaction, victim's body was found on defendant's property,
defendant was seen driving payloader in the area where victim's body was found, and
victim was killed by gun of same type owned by defendant).
However, Brock was found guilty pursuant to the combination principalaccomplice
instruction . As explained above, to warrant delivery of a combination
instruction, the evidence must be sufficient to prove guilt under either theory.
#20 Mar 18, 2010
Because insufficient evidence was presented to support the conviction, Timothy
Finley's murder conviction is hereby vacated . Shannon Finley's murder conviction is
vacated . Because there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction for complicity
to murder, Brock Bowling's murder conviction is hereby reversed and remanded to the
Clay Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion
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