JENKINJONES, W.Va. (AP) — The brothers of a West Virginia man accused of raping an elderly woman in Central Park said he is mentally ill and his time in prison led him to be violent.
If convicted, David Albert Mitchell’s life should not be spared, one brother said.
“Maybe they ought to put him in the electric chair,” Lewis Mitchell told the Post.
Authorities said David Mitchell has been in and out of prison since he was 18. He was arrested twice on charges of raping elderly women, suspected but not charged in the slaying of one female neighbor and acquitted of killing another. Court records and prosecutors describe a man who drank heavily, was quick to threaten violence, never earned a high school diploma and may have been mentally ill.
Now he’s accused of raping and beating a 73-year-old bird watcher last week in Central Park.
David Mitchell, 42, served eight years in a Virginia prison for the 2003 abduction of an ex-girlfriend and got out last year. Records show he violated probation three times, then apparently fled to New York.
Lewis Mitchell said he turned in his brother for that crime.
“He called my brothers from jail and said he’s going to kill me,” Lewis Mitchell said. “I have no fear of him. He knows what I am — I’m his worst nightmare.”
Another brother, Joseph, said David Mitchell’s time locked up for other crimes caused him to become violent.
“There was a big difference in him,” Joseph said. “I believe that when they accused him of killing that old woman and he was locked up, that messed with his mind.”
The Associated Press could not reach either of the brothers by phone.
Joseph said that David has a split personality and that his alter ego, “Johnny,” preys on the weak and elderly.
He was accused of killing 86-year-old Annie Parks of Jenkinjones when he was a teenager. Although Mitchell was acquitted, he was charged a few months later with raping another Jenkinjones resident who was in her 70s and stealing her gun.
Prosecutors dropped the sexual assault charge in a plea deal. He was released from prison in February 2000 but incarcerated that December on a grand larceny charge.
About a year later, 54-year-old Barbara Flake went missing from Jenkinjones, and some suspected Mitchell. State Police Sgt. C.F. Kane said investigators considered David Mitchell a person of interest. but lacked evidence to charge him. They reached out to authorities in New York on Friday to find out if Mitchell has said anything about the 2002 slaying.
About a year after Flake disappeared, David Mitchell was charged in Virginia with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend. The indictment says he stole a vehicle and used it to abduct Saretta Mitchell, and that he drove drunk while evading police. He served eight years in a Virginia prison for that crime.
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