Prosecutors rested their case Friday morning after calling a complete of six witnesses and lawyers for Andrew Mitchell started presenting their case in protection of the previous Columbus police vice officer in his legal trial in Franklin County Not unusual Pleas Courtroom.
Mitchell, now 58, is charged with homicide and voluntary manslaughter in reference to the Aug. 23, 2018, taking pictures demise of 23-year-old Donna Dalton Castleberry.
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Columbus police Officer John Gagnon and Sgt. Mike Evans had been referred to as to testify on behalf of Mitchell.
Mitchell had firearms coaching in a while sooner than selecting up Castleberry
Gagnon led a firearms coaching that Mitchell and different vice officials had finished inside an hour sooner than Mitchell picked up Castleberry, a prostitute affected by drug dependancy, about 11:30 a.m. on Sullivant Road within the Hilltop and drove her in an unmarked automotive to the rear of an rental development on South Yale Road in Franklinton. Not up to 10 mins after Mitchell picked Castleberry up, she have been shot thrice and used to be mendacity slumped over within the again seat.
The learning, Gagnon testified, incorporated eventualities the place officials needed to make choices about whether or not an individual posed a risk or now not and if there used to be a risk, taking pictures till that risk used to be eradicated.
“You teach to shoot them till the risk is over?” protection lawyer Kaitlyn Stephens requested.
“Sure,” Gagnon spoke back.
Below cross-examination, Gagnon testified when requested by way of prosecutors that officials can violate their firearms coaching.
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Sgt, Evans testified that he oversaw Mitchell’s portion of the vice unit on the time of the taking pictures in August 2018. He mentioned protocol for the unit used to be to have any other officer inside a couple of mins distance, or shut proximity, when selecting up a prostitute.
Evans mentioned the vice unit had now not heard about someone kidnapping prostitutes on the time, one thing Castleberry accused Mitchell of in an audio recording of the come across from Mitchell’s city-issued cell phone.
Sooner than calling their witnesses Friday, Mitchell’s lawyers had asked that he be discovered now not in charge by way of Pass judgement on David Younger. A movement for acquittal, usually referred to as a Rule 29 movement, is typically made after the prosecution rests its case.
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“According to their very own concept … that Ms. Castleberry used to be performing defensively, they have not come on the subject of assembly their burden,” mentioned Mark Collins, Mitchell’s lead protection lawyer.
Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Sheryl Prichard countered Collins’ statement, pronouncing the audio presentations Mitchell used to be indignant and provoked when he used to be minimize by way of Castleberry all the way through a battle.
“There may be proof he can be impassioned by way of that provocation,” Prichard mentioned.
Younger denied the movement and mentioned there used to be sufficient proof to continue.
Prosecution skilled: Mitchell’s taking pictures of Castleberry now not cheap
The prosecution completed its case Thursday afternoon with wondering of Jamie Borden, a retired Nevada police officer and skilled in police ways, coaching and decision-making.
Borden, who used to be paid $4,950 for his assessment and research of the case and had his airfare and room and board in Columbus paid for by way of the prosecution, mentioned he did not imagine Mitchell’s movements had been cheap in taking pictures Castleberry.
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On a timeline proven to the jury, Borden broke down the periods between 4 of the six photographs Mitchell fired all the way through a 12.85-second period sooner than his gun jammed. Borden’s research of the audio confirmed just about a moment lapsed between the primary and moment photographs Mitchell fired.
An extra 2.43 seconds lapsed between the second one and 3rd photographs and three.87 seconds between the 3rd and fourth photographs.
Collins engaged in a contentious and irritating cross-examination of Borden Thursday afternoon in regards to the criminal requirements used to judge whether or not an officer is being cheap of their use of fatal power.
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Borden conceded that Castleberry used to be “completely” a risk to Mitchell when she sliced his hand with a knife, however that further overview of the placement didn’t essentially imply Castleberry used to be an ongoing risk.
“I do not know if (Mitchell) knew the place the knife used to be or now not,” Borden mentioned when requested about whether or not Mitchell may have perceived Castleberry as a unbroken fatal risk.
Consistent with the audio from Mitchell’s cell phone, Castleberry wondered whether or not Mitchell used to be a police officer as a result of he didn’t have his badge or police radio within the automotive with him — each violations of metropolis police coverage. Mitchell confirmed Castleberry his handcuffs, his division-issued ID card and a clean arrest shape, however that didn’t persuade her of his id.
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Mitchell then swore at Castleberry, in step with the audio, and tried to handcuff her. Castleberry used a pocketknife and slashed Mitchell’s proper hand — an harm that required 34 stitches and a blood transfusion. She then put her foot in opposition to Mitchell’s throat — both in what the protection argues used to be an try to choke him or what the prosecution argues used to be an try to stay him away — and clambered into the backseat of the car. The audio presentations Castleberry used to be now not ready to flee for the reason that automotive’s rear kid protection locks had been engaged.
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The protection is predicted to name a use-of-force skilled from the Akron house to testify on Monday. Mitchell may just take the stand in his personal protection as smartly.
If convicted, Mitchell faces a possible sentence of lifestyles in jail with out a possibility of parole for 15 years at the homicide price. The manslaughter price carries a most sentence of eleven years in jail if Mitchell is convicted.
Irrespective of the end result within the case, Mitchell will stay in custody on federal fees accusing him of forcing girls to interact in sexual habits in alternate for now not being arrested.
This text in the beginning seemed on The Columbus Dispatch: Andrew Mitchell may just testify subsequent week in his personal protection