Murder suspect to fight return to U.S.
Appeal Staff Writer
A Caribbean night watchman plans to fight extradition to the U.S. in the 1982 murder of a Carson City teen, a Republic of Trinidad and Tobago prosecutor said today.
David Winfield Mitchell, 60, appeared before a Port of Spain magistrate about 6:30 a.m. pacific time, said David West, who acted as prosecutor on behalf of the U.S.’s extradition request. West is the head of Central Authority, Ministry of the Attorney General & Legal Affairs in Port of Spain, Trinidad in the West Indies.
“The magistrate asked (Mitchell) if he was gong to consent to extradition and he said he would fight it,” West said.
Though Mitchell didn’t explain why he plans to fight extradition, West said, the prosecutor surmised the lapse of 24 years between the murder of Sheila Jo Harris, and Mitchell’s arrest would make his defense difficult.
“From his point of view it would matter. If he has any witnesses he wished to call, they may be hard to find. Any lawyer that knows anything would pick that up,” West said.
Mitchell is being held without bail in a Trinidadian jail.
The magistrate appointed him an attorney and his next court appearance will be Monday.
Harris, 18, was found murdered in her east Carson City apartment Jan. 6, 1982. Mitchell was the complex’s maintenance man, and was arrested in the case in 1986 but released for lack of evidence.
DNA testing done in 2000 on fluids found on Harris’ body and clothing came back as matching Mitchell’s hair, blood and saliva from samples he submitted in 1986.
U.S. investigators, with the help of international police, located Mitchell in Trinidad in 2004. He was arrested Friday morning by Interpol officers at his job as a night watchman at the Ministry of Works in Mount Hope.
– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.