Former Columbus vice officer indicted on murder charge

Ohio

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A former Columbus police officer has been indicted on charges related to the death of Donna Castleberry in August of 2018.

A grand jury indicted former officer Andrew Mitchell on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

On August 23, 2018, 23-year-old Donna Castleberry was shot and killed by Mitchell during what was originally described as an undercover prostitution operation. Police said Mitchell was attempting to take Castleberry into custody inside of an unmarked vehicle in the area of Bellows and South Yale Avenue.
Police said Castleberry stabbed Mitchell in the hand in the moments leading up to the shooting.

In March, Mitchell was indicted on federal charges alleging he kidnapped victims under the guise of arrest and then forced them to engage in sex in exchange for their freedom.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther issued the following statement:

“Today’s indictment, as well as the federal indictments announced last month, send a clear message that we will not tolerate the abuse of power or victimization of residents by anyone in law enforcement. Prosecuting Andrew Mitchell is essential both to protect our community and to support the many honorable officers whose reputations he has unfairly tarnished. I applaud the grand jury for the indictment and believe in Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s full and vigorous attention to the arraignment and trial.”

Columbus Division of Police Chief Tom Quinlan provided the following statement:

“Our officers work diligently and professionally to protect the residents of Columbus. I respect the Franklin County Grand Jury decision to indict former officer Mitchell on charges of Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter. We will continue to work with the prosecutor’s office throughout the criminal proceedings. Andrew Mitchell’s actions have cast a long shadow over the Columbus Division of Police. I am taking concrete actions to restore the public’s trust. Mitchell was relieved of duty and has since retired in bad standing. The Vice Section has been disbanded. We will continue internal reviews to make sure that the Columbus Division of Police embodies our mission for the people of Columbus.”

Mitchell is being held without bond on the federal charges. If convicted of those charges, he faces life in prison.

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