Apr 6, 2022 - News

Former vice officer's murder trial underway

Andrew Mitchell appears for his arraignment between his attorneys
Former Columbus Police vice officer Andrew Mitchell (middle) appears for his arraignment in 2019. Photo: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network

A murder trial is underway for Andrew Mitchell, a former Columbus Division of Police vice officer accused of killing a woman in his unmarked police car in August 2018.

Catch up quick: Mitchell, 58, faces charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter.

  • In 2018, Donna Castleberry, 23, was working as a prostitute on Sullivant Avenue while Mitchell was undercover without his badge or radio.
  • During a struggle inside the vehicle, Castleberry stabbed Mitchell's hand with a knife and he fired six shots.
  • The city settled with Castleberry's family for $1 million in 2020.

The latest: An audio recording of the final moments of Castleberry's life was played for a Franklin County jury yesterday during opening statements, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

  • Castleberry is heard saying Mitchell isn't an officer and is trying to kidnap her.

Of note: Mitchell, a 30-year veteran, is the first Columbus officer to be charged in an on-duty fatal shooting in at least 20 years, per the Dispatch.

Separately, Mitchell faces federal charges for kidnapping victims under the guise of an arrest and forcing them to have sex for freedom. That trial is scheduled for September.

What's next: Testimony is expected to begin Wednesday.

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