Watch previous coverage of the trial against Andrew Mitchell in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A former officer with the defunct Columbus Division of Police vice squad is set to be retried on murder and manslaughter charges Monday.
A jury deadlocked in April 2022 after the seven-day trial of former officer Andrew Mitchell, who is accused of shooting and killing Donna Castleberry. One week after that trial ended, prosecutors announced their intent to retry Mitchell.
In August 2018, Mitchell killed Castleberry while he was working undercover as part of an attempted prostitution sting. Mitchell shot Castleberry after she slashed his hand with a knife.
In his previous trial, the prosecution claimed Mitchell used excessive, unreasonable force against Castleberry, and Mitchell’s defense claimed Castleberry presented a threat that warranted Mitchell’s use of force.
During the trial, expert witnesses for the prosecution claimed Castleberry was likely trying to defend herself against someone she did not believe was a police officer, calling her use of a knife more of a defensive move, cutting Mitchell across the hand instead of stabbing him.
Mitchell took the stand in his defense, claiming that he believed Castleberry was trying to kill him, saying she choked and kicked him as well as slashed him with a knife.
“I was fighting for my life – I couldn’t remember the (gunshot) sequence,” he said. “I still can’t remember a lot of the things if it weren’t for the video.”
Mitchell faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charge. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he could be sentenced to between three and 11 years in prison.
Mitchell also faces several federal charges in an unrelated case for allegedly forcing two women to have sex with him or face prostitution charges. That trial is now scheduled for July. Mitchell retired from the department in March 2019 following the filing of the federal charges.
The federal case against Mitchell as well as the vice unit’s handling of the arrest of an adult performer in July 2018 played a role in the abolition of the Columbus vice unit in March 2019.