Trial dates set in murder, shooting of deputy
Appeal Staff Writer
Two high-profile Carson City trials will take place, one after another, starting in April.
David Winfield Mitchell, 61, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies, appeared in Carson City District Court on Monday for a hearing to determine if both the defense and prosecution are prepared for an April 3 trial date. Mitchell is charged with open murder in the 1982 killing of Sheila Jo Harris.
Harris, 18, was found beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled Jan. 6, 1982, in her bedroom at the Foothill Garden apartments where Mitchell was a handyman.
Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner and Public Defender Diane Crow both agreed they were ready to go before a jury in the four-week trial against Mitchell. Mitchell did not speak during the hearing. He was arrested in Trinidad by International Police on Aug. 18 and is being held without bail in the Carson City Jail.
The trial of Mark Daniel Fiddler, a Carson City man charged with shooting a deputy during the service of a search warrant last month, will begin May 1.
According to Gardner, the trial is expected to last four days.
A defendant has a right to go to trial within 60 days of his arraignment in District Court. Fiddler’s attorney Angelyn Gates of Studio City, Calif., said Fiddler, 51, did not wish to waive the 60-day rule and demanded the judge adhere to her client’s rights.
Judge Todd Russell pointed out to Gates that Gardner would be coming off a four-week trial and would not have much time to prepare for Fiddler’s case, but Gates insisted the judge schedule the jury trial before May 7 when the 60 days were up.
Fiddler allegedly opened fire with a .22-caliber rifle, striking Deputy Josh Stagliano in the wrist about 3 a.m. on Feb. 1. Stagliano and eight other officers were at Fiddler’s Fall Street home to serve a drug warrant.
Fiddler has stated he was unaware the men in his home were police officers.
He is charged with attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon and battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm. He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted on both charges.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.