Jury deadlocked, judge declares mistrial in case of former Columbus vice officer Andrew Mitchell
A judge has declared a mistrial after the jury remained deadlocked in the murder trial of former Columbus Police vice squad officer Andrew Mitchell. Mitchell was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the August 2018 shooting of 23-year-old Donna Castleberry.
Mitchell claims he was arresting Castleberry in a prostitution sting, although he told her he did not have a badge when she asked for it.
Former Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said that Castleberry stabbed Michell in the hand, then jumped to the back seat of the car, where Mitchell shot her six times.
In an audio recording of the shooting, Castleberry can be heard screaming for help and trying to flee the car as Mitchell said she was under arrest. He then fired six times in a 12-second period.
Mitchell's defense team argued their client believed he was under imminent threat of great bodily harm or death and acted in accordance with police training. The defense called a pair of witnesses to bolster their contention that Mitchell was following his training when he used lethal force.
Mitchell has been held in federal custody since 2019 on unrelated accusations that he forced women to have sex with him under threat of arrest.
In November 2020, the city of Columbus paid $1 million to Castleberry’s family to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. It was the largest payout in the city’s history.