A bond reinstatement proceeding turned into a plea hearing Tuesday for Kayla Mills.
Mills, 19, of 217 Erie St., Wheeling admitted to Ohio County Circuit Judge David Sims that on June 13 she had beaten and kicked a juvenile victim because she felt the victim was responsible for sending her to jail.
Ohio County Assistant Prosecutor Gail Kahle told Sims that Mills assaulted the juvenile after learning her bail was being revoked for a previous charge because she violated a stipulation in her bond agreement that forbid her from having contact with the victim.
On Nov. 6, Sims stopped Mills' malicious assault trial before it started because the juvenile victim failed to show up for court and was reported as missing by family members. Sims dismissed the jury pool and rescheduled the trial for Jan. 2 after he learned from family members of the victim that the girl had not been seen since 10 p.m. the previous night.
They told the judge they began searching for the alleged victim and alerted police after finding her cell phone on the back porch of her home.
Sims issued a pickup order and police found the 16-year-old shortly after the hearing. When brought before the court to explain her disappearance, the victim said Mills told her if she did not show up to testify in the trial, Mills would be freed.
Sims revoked Mills' bond and remanded her to custody because she had contact with the victim. Tuesday's hearing was scheduled as a bond reinstatement hearing, but Mills decided to enter the guilty plea instead.
The September grand jury indicted Mills on a malicious assault charge. After pleading to the lesser charge of unlawful assault, Mills may be sentenced to one-to-five years in prison. Sims released Mills to home incarceration pending a sentencing hearing to be set after completion of a pre-sentence investigation report.
The judge warned Mills and the juvenile victim to not attempt to contact each other before the sentencing date.