JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Exactly one year ago, Shelley Milam had her world turned upside down. That's when she discovered her best friend, her mother...dead inside her home.
"Everytime I was in my mom's room that's what I picture...the way I found her. It's been really tough," she said.
Shelley spoke exclusively to Action News today after the man responsible for her mom's death...was convicted of first degree murder and possession of a controlled substance.
According to the State Attorney's Office, Alexander Patton and 61-year-old Paula Milam got into an argument over how much money patton owed her. He was a friend of the family, so was allowed to rent a room from her when he fell on hard times.
After the fallout, patton used two electrical cords and a weed-eater line to strangle Milam. He took off with her prescription medication and left her home...but was captured after he had an accident on I-95.
"You go from depression, anger, you know. All kinds of emotions," Milam continued.
Shelley, an only child, is pregnant with her first baby. She hates her mom will never get a chance to see her little girl...but plans to keep her memory alive and forgive the man who she says ruined her life.
"I don't understand why he did what he did and I don't approve of it, but if I hold on to that hate and anger...I'm just doing nothing but holding myself back in life. I just want to pick up and move on and I'm just so glad today I got closure," she said.
Patton's sentencing date will be set September 10th. He faces life in prison.
Shelley also released the following statement:
"I would like to begin by thanking my God, and my church family for their prayers and faith that justice would be served in this hainus, brutal, and inhumane murder of my mother. Alexander, I'd prefer to refer to him as "Pete", is a monster. A monster who has turned my life into a complete nightmare, and ended my mothers life. He cheated me out of my only living family who loves and cares for me. And he cheated my mother out of a long life, and a new baby girl granddaughters, I had the pleasure of finding out about shortly before Mothers Day this year. I'm an only child with no prior children.
I'd like to personally thank Judge Boyer, for his professionalism, respect, and kindness to the whole court, and the jurors.
I'd like to thank each juror for their professionalism, practice of good judgement, attention to detail, and for making the hard, yet fair, and correct judgement in this case, as well as, the time they took out of their busy lives to attend to the needs of my mother.
I'd like to personally thank Detective Barker of JSO, for his hard work, dedication, and compassion for my husband and I.
I especially owe a great gratitude to the hard work, dedication, professionalism, and deliverance of justice, by the prosecutors of this case, to the coward that snuffed out my mothers life. And a special thanks to Ms. Angela Corey, for her compassion toward me, and her eloquent, and passionate deliverance of the details to the jury. Both prosecutors are highly skilled, and appreciated.
And, last but not least! A special and warm thanks to the team at Compassionate Families!! They are the most wonderful people I have had the pleaseure of meeting and talking to. The have given me support beyone what words of thanks can express!!! They are all compassionate, and wondeerful people!
I almost accepted a lesser plea in this case when it was offered, but I did not know the details then, that I now know, or realize the bruitality, and cruelty involved in the lengthy killing of my mother. I am glad we went forth with the trial, and I trusted God, and the prosecutors to seek what he deserved, and win!
Kim Svobodas, false allegations in court were pure lies, and I will not waste time arguing the details, she, along with my husband, myself, and those that knew and loved my mother know she would never have encouraged any ones addictions. She and I both got Pete placement at Gateway for rehab, and re refused the help! Especially, knowing my father, and I both have struggled with these issues all our adult lives, and my mother only ever tried to help us overcome them, never condoned them, as she was not an addict, OR drug dealer herself. She was struggling with debilitating and painful disabilities which were inoperable. So she had no choice in taking pain medicine, but to the contrast, many times suffered in pain and did not take the medicine so she could enjoy her family.
In closing, my prayers go out to Pete's family. My prayers even go out to him. I do not hate him, although I don't understand why, and have never been apologized to by him personally, I DO, by my Gods commandment of me as a christian, Forgive him!
Thank you too Erica, and the Action News Team for respecting my privacy, and allowing me to share my story with you, and our community!"