All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Mario Mills, 38, of Riverton, is facing one count murder in the first degree for the death of 37-year-old Trevor Bartlett in the early morning hours of March 26th, 2020.
Following Mills’ District Court arraignment on June 11th, a jury trial has been set for September 14th, 2020, according to the Lander District Court Clerk’s Office.
Court documents describe an initial call to law enforcement made by Mario’s wife Courtnie to report Bartlett “had committed suicide by gunshot at her residence.” Responding officers report Mario Mills allegedly told them on the scene “that Bartlett had been talking about suicide and had been in a ‘dark place’ recently.”
The initial report from the Mills’ was that they had been playing cribbage with Bartlett the night before, according to court documents. He was last seen “around 2330 hours on March 25” when Mario had left him “alone in the garage and he was continuing to drink alcohol.” They reportedly found him “around 0500” on the 26th when they went to the garage “to let the dogs out as part of their morning routine.”
Observations of the scene made by responding officers reportedly were not consistent with a suicide, but from a shot that “had been fired from a distance.” Later in the morning of the 26th, both Mario and Courtnie talked to officers separately at the Riverton Police Department.
During Courtnie’s conversation, she allegedly explained, “She had been awakened around 0130 hours by Mario who told her Bartlett was dead. She said Mario told her he had killed Bartlett.” Courtnie then reported that she went to the garage and found him “dead with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the left side of his head.” Mario shared with Courtnie that “they had fought and struggled over the firearm” and “after a while, he had shot Bartlett.” The Mills’ reportedly “decided not to call the police and report the death as a suicide.” They both then attempted to “conceal the crime.” While wearing gloves, Mario placed the gun in Bartlett’s left hand, removed it, unloaded it, and placed it on a bench near the body. They changed clothing and hid what they were wearing “under the bed” and after law enforcement left their residence disposed of their clothing and gloves in a dumpster at her place of employment.
During Mario’s conversation, he reportedly shared with the officer that Bartlett had “challenged” Mario to “kill him” several times during the evening of March 25th while they drank and played cribbage in the Mills’ garage. “Bartlett was in a ‘dark place’ and had told M. Mills he wanted to die,” according to court documents summarization of Mario’s conversation. “He said he had made a list of people he was going to kill before he died. Bartlett told M. Mills he should shoot him because he was sick of life.” Mario then produced a gun and reportedly told Bartlett that “he should just shoot himself.” Bartlett allegedly continued to “challenge” Mario to do it. Mills reported he eventually “fired a single gunshot” at Bartlett’s left temple.
Murder in the First Degree is a felony punishable by imprisonment of death, life imprisonment without parole, or life imprisonment.
The initial information provided by the Riverton Police Department about the incident reported Courtnie Mills was arrested for Accessory After the Fact. At this time, County 10 has not received any updated information regarding this charge against Courtnie.