COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Closing arguments in the retrial for a former Columbus police vice officer accused of murder began Monday afternoon.
Andrew Mitchell, a former vice cop who is accused of shooting and killing sex worker Donna Castleberry, returned to the court house as his retrial entered its sixth day.
Monday’s session began with the defense calling a former Akron law enforcement officer Kevin Davis to the stand as an expert witness. Davis testified as an expert in “use of force” for a police officer as the defense utilized his knowledge on police protocol to validate Mitchell’s decisions to pull the trigger.
During the cross examination, the prosecution questioned Davis’ expert analysis, asking about the research method aided in reaching his final report. Assistant prosecutor Sheryl Prichard argued the defense’s expert based his analysis on witness statements instead of solely on what was presented. After hours of testifying, the defense rested its case at around 2:15 p.m.
Prichard started the closing arguments by replaying the video and audio of the encounter between Mitchell and Castleberry. The state concluded its closing arguments at 4 p.m. before the trial stopped for the day. The defense is expected to begin its closing arguments when the trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
On Friday, Mitchell testified for hours and recounted the events that occurred on Aug. 23, 2018.
During his testimony, Mitchell said Castleberry did not believe him when he said he was a vice officer. He worked to prove he was an officer by showing her paperwork and an ID card. It was then, he said, the attempted arrest turned physical.
“I saw my wound first, before I saw the knife — while we were struggling, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was a deep gash,” Mitchell said. The physical altercation continued until shots were fired. “I fired a shot so I could stop the threat, to make sure she wasn’t going to shoot, I mean stab me, again,” he testified.
The prosecution worked to poke holes in his claims that he was just an officer making an arrest — instead the questioning focused on his unpreparedness.
In April 2022, Mitchell’s initial trial ended with a deadlocked jury. One week after that trial ended, prosecutors announced their intent to retry Mitchell.