Lexington, SC - Destiny Heather Mills, age of 25, of Lexington County, was sentenced to 10 years for causing the death of 21-year-old Olivia Johnson while driving under the influence of alcohol. Mills pled guilty to Felony DUI Involving Death and was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge William P. Keesley earlier today. Under South Carolina law, the conviction is classified as a violent crime and a “no parole” offense.
Assistant Solicitor Todd Wagoner handled the prosecution of this case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. During the sentencing hearing, Wagoner stressed “these incidents are the most preventable sort of tragedy that we see in the court system.” Felony DUI involving death carries a sentencing range of one year up to twenty-five years. In this case, there were no plea offers and Judge Keesley sentenced Mills after hearing all of the evidence and circumstances of the case.
On September 1, 2015, Johnson was traveling in the front passenger seat of a 1996 Jeep Cherokee on I-26 with her boyfriend, Joseph Mozingo, IV, who was driving the vehicle. Johnson and Mozingo were both Midlands area Domino’s employees leaving work around 2 a.m. that morning. Mills was driving a 2011 Kia Soul and struck the back of Mozingo’s vehicle near mile marker 113, causing both cars to lose control. Johnson was ejected from her vehicle as a result of the collision. Mozingo placed a frantic 911 call and told the dispatcher that he could not find his girlfriend. During the call, Mozingo began asking bystanders for assistance in helping to locate Johnson. Eventually, Mozingo discovered her gravely injured on the side of the roadway. Johnson was later pronounced dead at Lexington Medical Center.
The fatal collision was investigated by Trooper Joshua Bennett of the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT). During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Mills had been consuming alcoholic beverages at various establishments in the Harbison area of Columbia earlier that night. A blood sample was obtained from Mills and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) performed the toxicology analysis. Toxicology testing revealed that her blood alcohol content was twelve one-hundredths of one percent (.12), which is above the legal limit. Only days before the collision, Mills had attended a benefit function for the victim of a previous alcohol related traffic fatality.
Olivia Johnson was a 2012 graduate of Brookland-Cayce High School and attended Midlands Technical College at the time of her death. She was described by family as an avid tennis player and photographer. During the sentencing hearing, a close friend expressed, “She taught me how to love, care, and be humble. She was a great girl and I miss her very much.”