Local News

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

Posted April 26, 2007 11:46 a.m. EDT

— 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.