Man convicted in 1982 murder |

Man convicted in 1982 murder

F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada AppealDavid Winfield Mitchell, 62, listens to the closing arguments from the prosecution on Monday in Carson City District Court. Mitchell is accused of the 1982 murder of Sheila Jo Harris.

A jury has found David Winfield Mitchell guilty in the strangulation death of Sheila Jo Harris, 18, more than 25 years ago.

The 62-year-old man’s fate was decided by a four-woman, eight-man jury after 5 hours of deliberation that began at 6 p.m. Monday.

The jury broke for the night at 9 p.m. saying it had a verdict but wanted to sleep on it. Returning this morning at 9 the jury wrapped up its debate at about 11 a.m. and the verdict was read at 11:30 a.m.

Mitchell was found guilty of open murder in the beating, rape and strangulation killing of Harris a Gardnerville teen and former Miss Douglas County who’d just moved into a Lompa Lane apartment with her sights set on competing for the title of Miss Carson City.

Harris’ body was discovered Jan. 6, 1982, by her mother and a family friend in her Lompa Lane apartment.

Mitchell was arrested in 1986, but the charges were dismissed in 1987 with a right to refile because of a lack of evidence.

Mitchell, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, was arrested Aug. 18 by international police on the Caribbean island, after DNA comparison in 2000 allegedly resulted in a match between evidence found on Harris’ body and clothing and samples of saliva and blood obtained from Mitchell by warrant in the 1980s.