COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Wednesday marked the third day in the retrial of former Columbus police vice officer Andrew Mitchell, who is charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter in a 2018 shooting death.
Nearly a year ago, a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in his murder trial. Mitchell is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Donna Castleberry, 23, in August 2018 while making a solicitation arrest.
On Wednesday, two current Columbus police officers, one a lead investigator in the case and one of the officers who responded to the scene, as well as a retired detective who worked with Mitchell in the vice unit.
Throughout the day, the defense worked to emphasize the dangers associated with Mitchell’s job as an officer, specifically in the vice unit, while the prosecution worked to prove that those in the work of prostitution face dangers of their own, dealing with the unknown nature of their work.
First to testify current Columbus officer Matt McDaniels, who was questioned on the nature of arrests, the power struggles that could often ensue, and what he saw as one of the first officers to respond to the Castleberry scene.
But it was the testimony of retired vice detective Laura Evans that provided clear insight into what those in both worlds endured. She walked through protocols of vice for prostitution stings, but also the realities of life for those sex workers.