Evansville police say statute allowed for man accused of killing another man to go free

Evansville police say the case fell under the state's Castle Doctrine statute

EVANSVILLE (WEHT) - Just hours after making a court appearance Monday, 47-year-old Robert Mills was released and charges were dismissed.

Evansville police say the case fell under the state's Castle Doctrine statute.

On Sunday night, Mills allegedly shot his former roommate, Keith Kessinger, who had shown up to his house on Riverside Drive unannounced.

Mills reportedly told Kessinger not to come into his bedroom and threatened to shoot him and when Kessinger opened the door, Mills allegedly shot him.

Police say a review of the case led them and prosecutors to believe Mills' actions were covered by the Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force to protect themselves from serious bodily injury.

"It's not unusual for the homeowner to actually get arrested and be incarcerated for a short period of time,” said Evansville Police Sgt. Jason Cullum. “In this case, it was less than 24 hours. We were able to put everything together. That led to his release and formal request to dismiss charges."

Police said Kessinger showed up at the house unannounced about 30 minutes before the shooting and the roommate let him in, though she did not want him there. 

Mills was reportedly in a bedroom of the house and called 911.

Kessinger got upset and went to the bedroom to confront Mills.

According to the affidavit, Mills told Kessinger not to come into the bedroom and threatened to shoot him.

Kessinger opened the door and Mills allegedly shot him.

Kessinger was pronounced dead at the scene.

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(This story was originally published November 14, 2017)


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