A stripper faces life imprisonment after she was convicted on Thursday of decapitating her lover’s son with whom she was having sex in exchange for prescription drugs and money.
Roena Cheryl Mills, 43, of Rural Retreat, Virginia, was charged with first-degree homicide in the death of Bo White.
White, 29, was found dead in Lerona, West Virginia, home on April 1, 2018.
His body was found in his home while his head was located later in a wooded area.
The Mercer County, West Virginia, jury deliberated for almost two hours before it reached a verdict on Thursday, The Register-Herald reported.
When the verdict was announced, members of White’s family openly wept.
Mills was quiet and calm when the verdict was read.
Roena Cheryl Mills (left), 43, of Rural Retreat, Virginia, was charged with first-degree homicide in the death of Bo White (right)
A conviction of first-degree murder in West Virginia carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A jury could recommend a convict for mercy, which would make that person eligible for parole after serving 15 years in prison.
The jury did not make the recommendation for Mills.
The prosecuting attorney, George Sitler, told the jury in his closing argument that Mills was a drug addict, WVNS-TV.
Sitler said that Mills took advantage of Bo White, who the prosecutor described as ‘an awkward, sickly shut-in who didn’t have a real life.’
It has not been established why Mills frequently visited White, though Sitler speculated that she traded sexual favors in exchange for medication that he was prescribed.
‘His father had introduced him to a manipulative woman,’ Sitler told jurors on Thursday.
The Mercer County, West Virginia, jury deliberated for almost two hours before it reached a verdict on Thursday. Jurors convicted Mills (above) of first-degree homicide
‘She knew Bo had a pocket full of pills and a pocket full of cash.’
Bo White lived off a disability allowance and loved playing with Star Wars figures, according to authorities.
Mills was introduced to Bo White by his father, James, a truck driver who had a yearslong sexual relationship with her while she worked as an exotic dancer at the Southern X-Posure club.
On Bo White’s last night alive, Mills texted him and arranged a meet-up.
‘I’m trying to get my things. Give me a few minutes,’ she texted him late on March 31, 2018.
Authorities allege that Mills offered Bo White (above) sexual favors in exchange for money and drugs
According to authorities, Mills bludgeoned Bo White until he was unconscious. She then cut off his head with a kitchen knife and stabbed him repeatedly.
A witness, Jo Fleming, testified that Mills asked to borrow gasoline and a chainsaw from him, but he refused.
That meant Mills needed to use ‘cheap kitchen knives’ to cut up Bo White and sever his head from his body, according to Sitler, who compared it cutting up a chicken.
After the grisly murder, Mills went through Bo White’s pockets to get pills and cash.
Prosecutors say she then sent a text message to a friend that read: ‘Let’s party.’
Mills’ defense lawyer claimed that it was James White, Bo’s father, who killed him.
According to the defense’s theory, James White grew jealous when Mills began to get close to his son.
‘Our theory is that Jimmy White was jealous of her relationship with Bo… and Jimmy White is a terrible person,’ Mills’ lawyer, Sid Bell, said.
Mills is alleged to have used a kitchen knife to dismember Bo White after she bludgeoned him to death on Easter of 2018
Sid Bell, Mills’ lawyer, claimed his client couldn’t be the killer because she was a drug addict and that the blows and stab wounds found on Bo White could only have been dealt by someone with ‘a lot of strength.’
Bell suggested that James White killed his son in a jealous rage after he found Mills and his son together.
‘As an old prosecutor, we call that a crime of passion,’ he said.
‘Someone with a lot of strength and a lot of rage had to kill this man.’
But the jury also heard evidence that incriminated Mills, including blood and injuries which was found on her body when she was arrested.
Mills’ car was also in Bo White’s driveway on the day his body was found.