New Details Revealed About The West Virginia Woman Who Beheaded Boyfriend To 'Keep His Head'

Photo: WVNS
beheading woman

Some disturbing news recently came out of West Virginia, and although the bone-chilling incident happened on April Fool's Day, no one is laughing. Roena Cheryl Mills, 41, of Rural Retreat, West Virginia was taken into police custody after being reported as wandering around a neighborhood covered in blood while wearing one glove, and it was later discovered that she had reportedly beheaded her boyfriend.

Initially, she lead police to believe she had been beaten and thrown through a glass window. She gave officers a false identity and one hell of a story but as her behavior became more erratic, the questioning intensified and Mills became combative. That led to her being taken into custody.

Though they didn't know it at the time, it wasn't her own blood that she was covered in, but that of her decapitated boyfriend, and she was about to give the deputies one seriously sickening clue as to what she'd been up to that day.

"You have to take me back and let me get my heads," she reportedly said in the police car as they pulled away from the scene.

Soon after, tips began to come in that lead officers to the scene of a decapitated body, later identified as Mills' boyfriend, Bo White, 29. White's body was found in his home, and a glove that matched the one Mills was wearing was found next to his body. 

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Another, still publicly unidentified part of a body was also found near the site of where officers first found Mills. It is not clear how serious the couple was, or how long they'd been together, but White's father did confirm the relationship.

Once White's body was found, the pieces began to fall together and Mills was placed under arrest for second-degree murder. She was placed in jail under a $210,000 bond, where another inmate reported that Mills was talking about murdering someone.

During her hearing yesterday on April 10th, the judge ordered she be sent to Charleston for further psych evaluations to see whether or not she is mentally competent enough to stand trial. If she is, her case will go to a grand jury and she will potentially be indicted of first or second-degree murder.

"Apparently she was not very responsive with the initial investigating officers," Mercer County Prosecutor, George Sitler, said. "She just did not seem to be all there." This is, perhaps, why Mills' current charge is second-degree murder, rather than first.

To be charged with first-degree murder, a person must also be charged with premeditation which, of course, is the act of planning something, specifically a crime, ahead of time.

In the case of a decapitation, especially given that Mills appeared to be mentally skewed, an insanity plea is most often the defense to deter a first-degree murder charge.

In an insanity plea, it could be argued that Mills cannot be held responsible for her own actions due to her psychiatric disease, therefor eliminating the possibility of a first-degree murder indictment. However, in Mills' case, an insanity plea might not stick, given her history of threats and violence.

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As it turns out, Mills has a criminal history. According to a report in SWVA Today by Johnny Ray Hull Jr, the ex-husband of Mills, he received very serious, vivid threats from Mills. Hull stated he was going to pick up the couple's children when Mills said "She would blow my f*cking head off before I got them."

The report was taken seriously enough that a protective order was filed for Mr. Hull.

But that's not all. She was charged with an assault and battery charge against a law enforcement officer in 2011, as well as indecent exposure, public intoxication, and "escaping from confinement" during that same year.

At that time, she was again ordered to undergo mental evaluation and treatment, though we are not clear as to whether or not she completed either.

It is clear that there is a mental issue here, but her long history of violence and defiance of West Virginia law enforcement makes an insanity plea less likely to hold. However, if it does stick, West Virginia law states that "Murder of the second degree shall be punished by a definite term of imprisonment in a penitentiary which is not less than 10 nor more than 40 years."

There is no death penalty for second-degree murder, and with good behavior, it is possible that Mills could be off on parole in as little as ten years.

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Ten years for cutting off a man's head? We can only hope that a jury will recognize the seriousness and the contemplation of this crime, and that Mills will be behind bars for the rest of her life. Otherwise, this woman could be free to roam the streets again in the not so far away future, and that is a far cry from justice for her victim.

We're following this story closely.

Hannah Murphy is a southern writer and mom of three (two human, one canine). She has a deep love of bacon, babies, dinosaurs and vodka — not always in that order. When not chasing her two boys and husband you can find her obsessively reorganizing her house, moonlighting as a medical professional, and yelling at the TV during football season.