Former Columbus police officer Andrew Mitchell says he’s not guilty of the seven federal charges against him.
Investigators say two women accuse Mitchell of forcing them to have sex with him while he was an officer of the law, or face prostitution charges.
Mitchell’s also the officer who shot and killed 23-year-old Donna Castleberry on August 23, 2018. Mitchell says the shooting was in self-defense.
Castleberry’s death is not part of Mitchell’s federal case but still, her sister, Bobbi McCalla, said she wouldn’t have missed today’s arraignment.
“I think that’s part of the reason I wanted to be here knowing what’s coming up in April with Donna’s case I think it was helpful to see him for the first time not regarding her case,” she said.
The Franklin County Prosecutor’s office is expected to present the Castleberry case to a grand jury April 4th.
Mitchell’s federal trial is expected to begin May 20th.
Until then, defense attorney Mark Collins says Mitchell should be out on bond.
And though he didn’t argue that during arraignment, Collins says he will ask for that after he’s reviewed all the federal government’s evidence in their case against Mitchell.
“The indictment was filed March 7. Was the danger that evening, the evening of the eighth, the evening of the ninth the evening of the 10th? No. Apparently though he was a danger in March 11. He’s known about this investigation since September 26,” said Collins.
“He’s been charged with witness tampering and obstruction of justice and I’m afraid if he’s allowed to be out amongst the general public he might continue to do those things,” she said.