Mitchem sentenced in murder of Roland Stafford

Staff Report

Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa D. Maynard today announced the conviction and sentencing of Billy Eugene Mitchem, 42, for Murder in the Second Degree.

During the course of his plea hearing, Mitchem acknowledged his role in the killing of Roland Stafford, 70. The murder occurred in December of 2014 at the victim’s home located in Taylorville, West Virginia.

Mitchem allegedly entered the residence with the intention of stealing the victim’s truck keys; however, Stafford discovered Mitchem in the home and the situation escalated. The medical examiner opined that Stafford died as a result of blunt head and neck trauma. Mitchem entered his guilty plea to the murder on December 21, 2015, and has been incarcerated at the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden while awaiting sentencing.

On Tuesday, Mitchem returned to the Mingo County Circuit courtroom to be sentenced by the Honorable Miki Thompson. The State of West Virginia opposed any leniency for Mitchem and requested that the maximum sentence be imposed. Judge Thompson concurred with the recommendation of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Joshua S. Ferrell, and sentenced Mitchem to the definite term of forty (40) years in a state correctional facility.

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