Elderly man on trial for murder
by Wes Mayer
An elderly war veteran suspected of fatally stabbing another man in Newnan in April 2013 is on trial for murder in Coweta Superior Court this week.
Milo Rachel, 64, was indicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On April 1, 2013, Rachel was arrested for the slaying of Charles Skeen, 57, who died from an eight-inch stab wound which severed his abdominal aorta. Skeen was found dead lying on the front porch of Rachel’s home on Fairmount Drive.
Rachel was not at the scene when authorities first arrived, but arrived around 30 minutes later. After this, Rachel was transported to the Newnan Police Department for questioning, and after Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs and Sgt. Vansant interviewed him, Rachel was charged for the slaying of Skeen. Rachel was not told Skeen passed away until the end of the interview.
The case is being prosecuted by Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Robert Mooradian, and Rachel is being defended by Public Defender Charles Cauble. Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer is presiding over the trial. On Monday, a jury for the trial was selected, and on Tuesday, attorneys gave their opening statements and the state began calling witnesses.
On Tuesday, witnesses included Skeen’s cousin, who called 911; Bruce Hines, the paramedic who first arrived on scene; Sgt. David Schrepfer, Lt. Mark Cooper and Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs with the Newnan Police Department; and Bethany Grisham and Kimberly Mundrick with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The final witness of the day was Riggs, and the recorded interview between Rachel, Riggs and Vansant was played for the jury.
The trial will continue with Cauble cross-interviewing Riggs at 9 a.m. Wednesday.