Families Waiting For Convicted Serial Killer To Stand Trial

Posted at 10:07 PM, May 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 14:34:46-04

LEBANON, Tenn. - Several families are still waiting for 64-year-old convicted truck stop serial killer Bruce Mendenhall to stand trial.

It's been eight years since a jury convicted him in Nashville, but he's charged in three other cases. He's also a suspect in the murders of a half dozen other women, including Latisha Milliken, whose body has never been found. Her family is frustrated with the wait.

Jessica Donahue carries the memories of her sister, Latisha, in a very simple photo album.

“I think my sister is worthy of justice, and I think she needs it, and her kids need it,” Donahue said.

Milliken disappeared in March 2007. Three months later a security guard found a body at a Nashville truck stop. Donahue and her mother, Tammy Northcutt, went to there thinking the worst.

But it was not Milliken it was Sara Hulbert. A jury convicted Bruce Mendenhall of the murder.

Milliken and Hulbert were a lot alike.

Mendenhall has not yet been charged with Milliken's death, but he has been charged in three more cases.

His next trial is in Lebanon for the killing of Samantha Winters in a truck stop there. Next he goes to Indianapolis, where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the murder of Carma Purpura.

Birmingham gets Mendenhall next. Authorities there will try him for the murder of Lucille Gretna Carter.

Northcutt and Donahue fear they may never get their day in court.

“If anything comes out of this, I want him to see a picture of my sister, and know, hear her name out loud, and let him know that my family knows what he did, and I hope her face haunts him every night while he's resting with Tennessee's finest,” said Donahue.

No trial date has been set in Lebanon. The DA's office said the court is waiting on results of an appeal filed by Mendenhall over evidence presented in the Hulbert case in Nashville.

A decision is expected later this summer.