Local News

Father pleads guilty in death of son who was tied to tree

Posted June 15, 2009

— The father of a 13-year-old boy who died after being tied to a tree pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder.

During a pre-trial hearing, Brice McMillan, 42, entered an Alford plea in exchange for testifying against his wife, Sandra McMillan, who is charged with murder and felony child abuse.

Father pleads in son's tree-tying death Father pleads in son's tree-tying death

Both were arrested a year ago after their son, Tyler McMillan, died of dehydration and heat stroke.

Sandra McMillan, 37, the boy's stepmother, is out of jail on bond. Her trial is slated to begin July 6. Brice McMillan will be sentenced after her trial.

In an Alford plea, a defendant pleads guilty, while maintaining his or her innocence, and admits it is in his or her best interest to take the plea deal because prosecutors have sufficient evidence that could find him or her guilty.

Brice McMillan told authorities that he twice tied his son to a tree as punishment for disobedience and that the boy was left outside overnight on the second occasion, authorities said.

The state on Monday did not provide further details of the crime but told a judge that Brice McMillan talked to investigators the day his son was found and then again in December, when he provided investigators with additional details about the case.

According to an autopsy report, Tyler McMillan had a body temperature of 105.6 degrees Fahrenheit when he was taken to a hospital. Tests after his death also showed a pattern of dehydration, the report states.

The boy also had insect bites over his arms and legs and marks on his wrists and ankles that were consistent with plastic ties, according to the autopsy report.

He also had bruises on his buttocks and legs that appeared to have been caused by a rod-like instrument, the report states.


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  • jsasser2 Jun 17, 2009

    This is how Brice could plead this case down. It's a hot topic for about 1 day, and then it's back to business as usual for everyone - except the family! We have to live with this for the rest of our lives. We have to worry about Brice and/or Sandy getting out of jail and trying to regain custody of her daughter and his son. We need to keep this alive in the press so that the DA or ADA can't just bury this under the rug. These two have already proved they are not fit parents. Please don't allow the courts to release them and have their other children back!
    Brice taking this plea bargain is like him killing Tyler all over again. He's showing that he places absolutely no value on his son's life - he's not willing to pay the full price; he wants a "bargain" for killing his son! He doesn't even ADMIT he did anything wrong! What, Tyler did it to himself? Please keep this matter alive in the press - it's our only hope of getting long jail terms for both Sandy and Brice. They deserve it.

  • cohentyry Jun 16, 2009

    There is more to this story than we will ever know. I can tell you that Sandy is a very controlling and abusive woman that should never be allowed contact with any child or man ever again. The DA knows alot and should have fought to keep her in jail. He even knows that she originally tried to flee. Sandy is now allowed to have unlimited phone contact with her child monitored only by her parents. No one is protecting that poor child. She has been brought up by a controlling and abusive person......No one is protecting her child.

  • cth1 Jun 16, 2009

    Luv2save- I agree!! How in the world in she out on bond?? Do they want her to do this to another child? HELLO?? This woman should not be allowed to walk the streets! She is responsible for the death of this poor, innocent child! This case sickens me!! I wish someone would find her and tie her to a tree for days at a time when it's above 90 degrees!!! Then she will see what Tyler went through!!

  • Cloudy Jun 16, 2009

    I will never forget this story about this little boy! What monsters they are!

  • Luv2Save Jun 16, 2009

    Why is his wife out on bail? She's charged with 1st degree murder and felony child abuse and is out on bail?

  • iron fist Jun 16, 2009

    He did not plead guilty read the article. The DA should not have cut him a deal.

  • dlentz2 Jun 16, 2009

    I can't even begin to put into words how this story makes me feel. To punish a child in this manner is beyond anything normal. God help them all.

  • BEACH Jun 16, 2009

    Hope he gets his in jail, feel sure he will!!!!

  • mandy picketts Jun 15, 2009

    again, I wish it was "eye for an eye"

  • boomylar Jun 15, 2009

    jsasser2, i haven't read all the comments, but it sounds like you know this family. I am sorry that you have been thru this, even more that the boy. I really hope they are stripped of their baby making parts so that even if they ever get out of jail, they can NEVER reprouduce again