Local News

Man Pleads Guilty to Robbery That Led to Strickland's Shooting

Posted April 26, 2007

— A Durham man pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing video game consoles last fall, setting off a chain of events that led to the shooting death of a Durham teen in a botched police raid.

Ryan David Mills, 21, a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student, pleaded guilty to felony common law robbery, according to his attorney, Alex Hall. He was sentenced to 10 to 12 months in jail, which was suspended to three years on supervised probation and 100 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay the robbery victim almost $1,300 in restitution.

Police said Mills, Peyton Brooks Strickland, 18, of Durham, and Braden Delaney Riley, 21, of Apex, beat up a UNC-W student in November and stole two PlayStation 3 consoles from him.

New Hanover County deputies were attempting to serve arrest and search warrants on Strickland on Dec. 1 when the Cape Fear Community College student was shot in the head and killed.

UNC-W police had asked for support from the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office in the case because of the potential that the suspects were armed and dangerous, authorities said. Nine heavily armed deputies accompanied UNC-W police to Strickland's home to serve the warrants.

Three deputies fired shots into the home, and evidence has shown some shots were fired before Strickland, who was unarmed, opened the door.

Cpl. Christopher Long, 34, was fired by the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office a week after the shooting and was later indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

A mistake by the grand jury led to that charge being dismissed a day later. The case is still being reviewed for possible criminal charges by the State Bureau of Investigation.

The case against Riley in connection with the PlayStation 3 robbery is pending.


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  • poohperson2000 Apr 27, 2007

    Maybe you should rethink the type of people you are friends with.. Just a suggestion.

  • Reason Apr 27, 2007

    Its called and accidental discharge. Long did not go to that house looking to shoot the kid. it was an accident. I'm sure many of you want to label him as a murderer, but that simply is not the case. he messed up, there is no doubt about it. But when someone drops there cell phone while driving and leans over to get it, resulting in a head on collision that kills someone, we don't start looking for the needle or a rope. So why in this case? I hate that it happened and i hate the kid died, but UGH is right, he set in motion the chain of events.

    and yes RRsaidso, i actually on 12 guns. But i don't take pictures of myself with bandannas on, pointing them at the camera. and i don't rob people. just sayin

  • UGN Apr 27, 2007

    Although I don't think that Mr Long deserves the death penalty in this case as he did not kill Mr Strickland with malice,I do not think we need officers like him out there shooting people through closed doors.I do think that Mr Mills should have received harsher punishment because he set in motion the chain of events that led to the shooting.

  • okiguy Apr 26, 2007

    This Mills punk gets a slap on the wrist. His buddy is dead.
    A cops life is ruined.??????????????

  • packfan79 Apr 26, 2007

    Underage kids get drunk, drive off 540... we cry for them. Kids steal games and pose with guns and one gets shot... and we cry for them. Who's stupid in these scenarios?

  • RRsaidso Apr 26, 2007

    You can definitly HAVE LONG We dont want him

  • 2alegal Apr 26, 2007

    Strickland had more than 1 brush with the law. If we had more cops like Long life would be better. We need Long in Johnston County and maybe the drug lords of West Smithfield would take notice when that battling ram hit the door.

  • RRsaidso Apr 26, 2007

    Ill level with you. I dont think death will solve a thing but he deserves harsh punishment so that other cops will not make the same mistake. If someone fishes they probably hunt. Hunters have guns. I have many many guns. Im no thug. I break no laws by having them. They werent either. Just wondering but do you own a gun?

  • Reason Apr 26, 2007

    RRSaidso...suprisingly I can read. In fact the last line of the story states: "The case against Riley in connection with the PlayStation 3 robbery is pending." One has already pled, waiting on the other. There was a third one charged also, but unfortunately he is no longer here.

    If it was a halloween picture, then why where weapons recovered from the home during the search warrant...oh wait...they didn't pose with the real ones....i get it....that makes sense....

    they may have been fishermen and students, but they were fishermen and students who took pictures posing with guns and lookin glike thugs....

    nobody is innocent in this tragedy. but long does not deserve the death penalty.

  • RRsaidso Apr 26, 2007

    I like Whocares! Good Points!