An area woman faces multiple felony charges after allegedly assaulting two men and two law enforcement officers at her residence just outside of Potosi last week.
Barbara R. Mills, 61, was charged in Washington County last week with first-degree assault - serious physical injury, armed criminal action, resisting arrest, unlawful use of a weapon, third-degree assault, and two counts of fourth-degree assault.
According to a probable cause statement from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, on Wednesday, a man was cleaning out a shed on Mills' Feather Road property to live in at her request. Mills allegedly approached the man, began screaming at him, then picked up a bat and started hitting items inside the shed.
The man told police that Mills swung the bat, and the tip of it struck him in the mouth, causing a piece of his tooth to break off and a small red abrasion to appear on his cheek. The man said he left the scene and walked down the road to call law enforcement. Two other men reportedly witnessed the incident.
The injured man packed some of his clothes and got in the truck with his son while deputies were on the scene. Police instructed Mills to go inside her residence while the man was leaving to avoid any more conflict.
As the man's son started to drive the truck down the driveway, Mills reportedly ran to the vehicle and started yelling at them. They steered the vehicle off the driveway and into the yard opposite of Mills in an apparent attempt to get away from her. Mills ran to the window of the truck and started yelling. Mills spit in one of the men's faces and turned away from the vehicle.
According to the report, the man immediately exited the vehicle and said he wanted to press charges for her spitting in his face. Mills went back to her porch and said it was just sweat that she had slung on him.
Deputies approached Mills and advised her she was being placed under arrest for the assault. Upon hearing this, the woman reportedly dropped to the ground and yelled that she was not going to jail and that the deputies could not arrest her.
While deputies were placing Mills in handcuffs, the woman allegedly used her fingernails to claw at one of the deputy's arms, causing a healing wound to be ripped open and torn wider. The woman reportedly kicked her feet and struck her head off the ground multiple times, stating she was not going to jail. Deputies lifted her and placed her in a patrol vehicle. She reportedly continued to resist until the door to the patrol car was shut. Mills was then transported to the Washington County Jail.
While being escorted inside the detention facility, the woman reportedly continued to turn around and state that she was not going inside. She was being brought inside the side lobby door when she allegedly turned and spit in one of the deputies' faces. The woman was then informed that she was being held on a 24-hour hold for assaulting law enforcement, to which she replied, claiming that it was only sweat that she had slung on the deputy.
Mills was booked on the charges, and an $80,000 bond was set in the case. She is prohibited from having contact with the alleged victims if released on bail.
The criminal complaint filed in the case states that Mills has multiple prior convictions and Department of Corrections commitments over the past 30 years and is considered a persistent offender. She is currently on probation in Washington County for domestic assault and resisting arrest.
A review of Mill's criminal history shows several past convictions for offenses including distributing and manufacturing a controlled substance, stealing, possession of a controlled substance, and receiving stolen property, among others dating back to 1989.
The charging documents indicate that Mills potentially faces a sentence of life in prison plus 54 years if convicted of the newly filed charges.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org