Belton, Tx (FOX44) – A 22-year-old Killeen man has been given a life sentence after entering a guilty plea to a charge of murder in connection with the July 31, 2021 shooting death of 24-year-old Skyler Mills in Harker Heights.
Jeremiah Lane Mitchell was originally charged with capital murder in the case. Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said Mitchell was scheduled to go to trial this week, but agreed to the offered deal – entering pleas to three charges. He was assessed life in prison for murder first degree, lesser included offense with capital murder, 20 years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and 20 years for aggravated robbery.
Mitchell remained in the Bell County Jail since his arrest.
Officers discovered Skyler Mills was shot after getting a call about shots fired in the 400 block of Brittney Way on July 31, 2021. A witness at the scene described seeing a man fleeing the scene after a verbal altercation with Mills.
An arrest affidavit obtained indicated the shooting was accompanied by a violent attack on the victim’s female roommate – and that the victims were, in fact, married.
The affidavit stated that on July 31, officers with Harker Heights Police were sent to the location of the attack after multiple calls were received – reporting that a man was involved and that it sounded like someone was being beaten and that screaming was being heard.
On arrival, officers met with a woman who had visible injury and who was distraught. The victim said she was in the residence getting ready to go out of town – when she heard a pounding on the door like someone trying to get inside.
The affidavit stated that the next thing she knew, she heard her wife asking what someone was doing there, and then she heard multiple gunshots. At this point, she dropped to the floor and a man entered the room where she was holding a gun – yelling at her to do what he said or he would shoot her, too.
She told officers the man dragged her by the hair to the bedroom and threw her on the floor next to her wife who was already shot. She said the man appeared to be looking for something and continually yelled at her to keep her head down or he would kill her – all the while pointing the gun at her.
After several minutes, the man left and the second victim locked the deadbolt on the door. However, the man came back and broke through the bolted door.
The man found the victim in the kitchen and once again pulled her by the hair back into the bedroom, kicking her several times in the head and body – still appearing to be looking for something. The victim told him where the car keys were, hoping he would leave.
The affidavit stated that he then fired additional shots into the already wounded victim and fled.
The affidavit stated that the victim was able to give a good description of the shooter – plus there were other nearby witnesses who saw the man outside.
Police were able to develop Mitchell as a a suspect, obtained a warrant and made their arrest.