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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Rapist, facing 3rd conviction, wants preliminary hearing

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  • The attorney for a twice-convicted rapist told prosecutors Tuesday her client wants his preliminary hearing in a case charging him with rape for the third time.
    First Assistant District Attorney Heather Cooper said Kimberly Tressler announced during a preliminary conference Tuesday that her client, Donnie Mills, would exercise his right to a preliminary hearing. Cooper filed the charge against the 34-year-old man last month based on an Ardmore Police Department investigation. The charge, first-degree rape by instrumentation, accuses Mills of sexually assaulting a child in May 2013, just one month after he was charged with failure to register as a sex offender. Mills was convicted of the failure to register charge in August.
    The latest rape charge also carries a penalty enhancement motion, pointing to Mills’ two prior rape convictions — first-degree rape in Murray County in 2002 and second-degree rape in Carter County in 2006. Mills served just one year of a four-year prison sentence he received with the Carter County conviction. If convicted of the current charge, the local man faces 20 years to life without parole.
    Mills was booked into the Carter County Detention Center when he was arrested March 26. He continues to remain detained pending the posting of a $400,000 bond set at the time of his initial court appearance. Mills is now scheduled for preliminary hearing on June 9.

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