03/26/07 — Charges reduced in moped accident

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Charges reduced in moped accident

By Lee Williams
Published in News on March 26, 2007 1:56 PM

A Wayne County man won't face any jail time in connection with a death by motor vehicle case involving a moped and his SUV.

Randy Lee Mills, 48, of 384 Mills Road, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in connection with the Sept. 26, 2006, death of 68-year-old Preston Lewis Valentine of Kenly.

Valentine's death resulted from a two-vehicle collision he and Mills were involved in on N.C. 581 North between Princeton-Pikeville and Nahunta roads, highway patrol officials said.

Mills is the owner of Club 55 El Abuelo in Seven Springs.

Valentine was traveling north on his moped at the time of the crash. As he attempted to turn left on Kiowa Place into Pike's Landing subdivision, he was struck by a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban.

Highway Patrol troopers said Mills was behind the wheel of the Suburban. He allegedly attempted to go around the moped by passing on the left as the moped attempted to turn left into the subdivision.

Valentine's moped was crushed. He died on the scene.

Mills appeared before District Court Judge Les Turner to answer the misdemeanor death by motor vehicle charge on Feb. 14, Wayne County court records show. The charge was reduced to improper passing.

Mills was ordered to pay a $210 fine and court costs, according to court records. No jail time, community service or restitution were imposed in the case.

Mills' application for a beer license for his new club is now under review by the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. However, his misdemeanor conviction will not likely have an affect on the department's decision to grant him the $400 beer license, ABC Director Michael Herring said.

"If he's convicted of a felony, you can't hold a permit, the law saws," Herring said.