The Brookville man accused of shooting at the Clay Twp. administration building before leading police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with him being shot in November was ordered to stay in Montgomery County Jail with no bond, a judge ruled Friday afternoon.
Mitchell, 41, had been released Jan. 8 on the electronic home detention program (EHDP) after posting 10 percent of the $150,000 bond set by a municipal court judge and continued by another county judge.
That angered Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.’s office, which wrote that Mitchell was “a danger to police and the community” in a motion made a day after this news organization reported Mitchell’s release.
On Friday, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer ruled that Mitchell must remain incarcerated throughout his case, agreeing with the prosecutors’ memorandum that called Mitchell “an alcoholic with a death wish.”
In filed decision, Langer wrote: “Given the demonstrably grave threat that Mitchell poses to the lives of law enforcement officers, this Court concludes that their safety and that of other persons in the community can be reasonably assured only if Mitchell is constantly under the supervision of persons in authority.”
Mitchell’s fiancé, Summer Evans, and his parents both said Mitchell could reside with them, but Langer ruled those options weren’t good enough.
“(Evans) testified that she works two jobs and is away from home for several hours during the day,” Langer wrote. “Thus, Mr. Mitchell would not be supervised during those periods of time; he could simply leave her residence.
“With regard to residing in the residence of his parents, who are elderly, his father, James Mitchell testified that the keys to their two cars were ‘hidden’ in their home. They had no locked safe in which to store them.
“He conceded that he could not assure that his son wouldn’t find the keys. He further acknowledged that while both he and his wife were asleep, it would be possible for their son to leave the residence without their knowledge. … it would not be at all surprising if he were then to initiate another high-speed chase, thereby again endangering the lives of law enforcement officers and civilians.”
Langer noted prosecutors showed Mitchell was an alcoholic who was diagnosed on May 9, 2018, with cirrhosis of the liver and told by a doctor that he would die if he kept drinking alcohol.
Evans reported that Mitchell started drinking three or four weeks before the November incident and, when confronted by Evans, said “he was going to drink until the day he died.”
Langer quoted Evans saying that Mitchell got up at 6:30 a.m. on the day of the incident and began drinking.
“It was either drink or kill himself because he had nothing to contribute to the household,” Evans said. “And he also said that he had told me before that if he was going to kill himself he would get as cranked up as he could on alcohol and drugs and go on a high-speed chase and have a shoot out with the police.”
Defense attorneys argued that Mitchell has no prior felony convictions, had no issues when he was in jail and complied while he was on electronic monitoring.
Mitchell’s lawyers also said that, while Mitchell is off the liver transplant list for now, he has numerous medical appointments. One is scheduled for Jan. 30 that was characterized as “medically necessary to avoid future life-threatening variceal bleeding.”
Mitchell is charged with two counts each of felonious assault against a peace officer and failure to comply with the order of a police officer plus one count of discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premises.
Video presented last week in showed Mitchell fleeing a Clay Twp. police sergeant in Mitchell’s Pontiac Fiero, speeding down busy roads, driving through stop sticks and flipping off police officers after his car stopped on Nov. 30, 2018.
Mitchell, who was found with an open can of Bud Ice, then put his hands on a Hi Point 4095 rifle and was shot at several times by law enforcement.
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