Garden City man charged in 2017-18 slayings, assaults against sex workers

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Garden City man has been charged in connection with multiple hit-and-run attacks from 2017 where he targeted sex workers, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

Lawrence Mills II, 32, was arrested near his home April 24 by Detroit police in the deaths of two women and two additional assaults that occurred in 2017.

He was arraigned in 36th District Court on Friday on charges including assault with intent to commit murder and battery of a pregnant woman. His bond was set at $750,000.

Lawrence Mills, 32, of Garden City.

This is the third case Mills has been charged in, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement, adding Mills' behavior is "deeply concerning."

"In each case, we believe that this violent predator targeted sex workers who frequented the southwest area of Detroit," Craig said during a press conference Friday.

Police believe Mills would approach his victims for a paid encounter and engage in the sexual act inside his vehicle. Afterward, as the victims would leave the vehicle and were on foot, he used his vehicle as a weapon to strike them, Craig said.

"... we know that he would exit his vehicle, approach the victims and then remove from the victims the money that he paid them," Craig said. "We're not certain if he took any other items."

The suspect vehicles were described as a gold 2006 Chevy Trailblazer, and possibly a dark-colored Chevy Cobalt, unknown year. Police said Mills was skilled in repairing vehicles that were damaged 

The first incident occurred at 3 a.m. Oct. 16, 2017, near Cypress and Casper where a 34-year-old white woman was killed in a hit-and-run.

The second occurred at 3 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017, on Campbell Street where a 

59-year-old white woman was found dead.

The third incident occurred a week later, on Dec. 22 at 2:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Campbell, where a 29-year-old pregnant woman was struck multiple times with the vehicle. She was injured but survived.

A fourth incident occurred on March 17, 2018, with the possibility of a fifth victim that year, Craig said.

"We believe based on our investigation there may be other surviving victims we're not aware of," Craig said. "We want to assure the sex worker community we're here to seek justice for you and your family so please, please come forward."

Mills' probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. May 22. The preliminary examination is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 28, both before Judge Kenyetta Stanford-Jones.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_