Accused murderer agrees to plea bargain
One of four Harrison Countians accused of murdering a Jeffersonville woman in 2002 has agreed to plead guilty to that charge and will testify against the other three persons charged in the crime.
Sara E. Mills, 18, of Elizabeth, who was charged in the Nov. 19, 2002 murder of Virginia Walker, agreed to the plea bargain late last month.
A jury trial for Mills was scheduled to begin Feb. 24, after being rescheduled more than once.
Mills, who was 17 at the time of the murder, and three men ‘ Joshua L. Shireman, 21; James K. Daily Jr., 20, and Troy A. Green, 23, all of Corydon ‘ allegedly killed Walker during the early morning hours of Nov. 19 and attempted to abduct the woman’s ex-husband, Lewis Walker, also of Jeffersonville, a short time later during what one suspect called ‘a joy ride.’
The four were taken into custody in Corydon later that same day. Besides murder, all four were charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and confinement.
Walker, Mills’ 73-year-old foster mother, was strangled and stabbed in the back. The woman was also beaten on her head and face, and suffered cuts to her neck, ear and chest.
During an autopsy, Dr. Barbara Wheatley-Jones determined strangulation as the cause of death.
In the plea agreement, Mills admits that she strangled her foster mother and admits to two counts each of robbery and burglary involving Lewis Walker.
If the plea agreement is accepted by Clark Superior Court Judge Jerry Jacobi, Mills would receive a sentence of 100 years in prison. She could be released in 50 years, considering time credited for good behavior.
Without a plea agreement, if convicted at trial, Mills could have faced more than 200 years in prison if a jury did not sentence her to life without parole.
Several items possibly involved in the Walker murder were recovered from Beams Lake off Sandy Branch Road near Elizabeth.
Currently, a jury trial for Shireman is scheduled to begin Feb. 24 in Clark County.