One suspect in Macon liquor store worker’s murder is a convicted killer just out of prison
A Macon man who on Tuesday was charged with murder and aggravated assault for his alleged role in the Jan. 20 slaying of a liquor store worker and the wounding of two members of the worker’s family was released from prison last fall.
The suspect, Terrell Ugean Mills, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter 20 years ago and has been in and out of prison three times since. He was last freed from prison in September after serving three years of a five-year term for shooting at his brother in an argument in early 2019.
In recent days, Mills, 40, was arrested in neighboring Jones County after investigators there said they linked him to an armed robbery at a convenience store on Shurling Drive in east Macon. Other suspects in both incidents were being sought.
The 49er mart convenience store stickup happened within hours of the late-night shooting death of Pinalkumar Patel, a manager at Shurlington Package Store. The package store sits less than a mile west of the 49er Mart that the authorities in Jones County say was robbed not long after Patel was slain.
Patel, 52, was killed in the driveway of his home on Thoroughbred Lane in south Bibb County by masked bandits, investigators said. Sources familiar with the investigation have said it was possible that whoever shot Patel had followed him some 15 miles from the liquor store with intentions to rob him.
In recent days, Mills became a suspect in Patel’s death after he was charged with robbing the 49er Mart.
On Facebook, Jones sheriff’s officials posted a photograph of an unmasked suspect in that heist, a man investigators now say was Mills.
Mills, whose last known address was on Swan Drive near Henderson Stadium, was apprehended by U.S. Marshals on Friday. He was arrested in connection with the alleged 49er Mart robbery when he visited his probation officer on North Avenue in east Macon.
Twenty years ago this fall, Mills pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Orreze Culler, a 20-year-old man who was found dead on Empire Lane in Macon’s Pleasant Hill neighborhood. Investigators at the time said the shooting may have been part of a retaliation attack in the wake of a deadly game of Russian roulette.
Mills was released in prison in August of 2014 but was back in a year later after he was convicted of charges that included cruelty to children, battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In that domestic-violence incident, he had been accused of pointing a pistol at the head of a woman he had lived with, but he pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
His prison term in that case ended in August 2018, but he was back behind bars six months later after shooting at his brother.