Former Vermilion County prosecutor found dead in Urbana hotel

Former Vermilion County prosecutor found dead in Urbana hotel

URBANA — Danville attorney, Vermilion County Board Member and former Vermilion County State's Attorney Larry Mills was found dead Friday in an Urbana hotel, according to Urbana police.

Sgt. Joel Sanders said police were notified about 12:20 p.m. Friday by employees at Sleep Inn, 1908 N. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, that a person was supposed to check out but hadn't, and the door was locked. Police used the hotel master key to enter the room, according to Sanders, and they found Mr. Mills, 58, lying on the bed deceased.

"There was no obvious sign of foul play," Sanders said.

Mr. Mills had checked into the hotel the night of July 4, according to Sanders.

Mr. Mills, a Danville attorney in private practice, was elected in November to the Vermilion County board as a Democrat in District 7.

He spent a total of 25 years as a prosecutor in the Vermilion County State's Attorney's office in two separate stints. The first was from 1980 to 1989, when he left the prosecutor's office and entered private practice for a few years. The second began in 1992 and lasted until 2008.

During his second stint, Mr. Mills was appointed acting state's attorney in November 1998 when then-state's Attorney Michael Clary was elected as a Vermilion County Circuit Court judge, and in January 1999, the Vermilion County board appointed Mr. Mills to the state's attorney's position.

But in May 2000, private attorney Paul Manion beat Mr. Mills in the Democratic primary for the state's attorney's office. Manion then lost to the Republican candidate Frank Young in the November 2000 election, and Mr. Mills continued as an assistant state's attorney under Young until 2008, when current state's Attorney Randy Brinegar was elected.

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