COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Opening statements in the trial of former Columbus Police vice officer Andrew Mitchell began Tuesday.
Mitchell is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the August 2018 shooting death of 23-year-old Donna Castleberry.
The prosecution for the state of Ohio began with their opening statement with a description of the incident. They played parts of the audio recording of the encounter to the jury as well.
The defense followed with its opening statement claiming that the evidence of the prosecution through the syncing of audio and video of the encounter and testimony from an expert witness will contradict the case of the state against Mitchell.
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 Avenue and South Yale Avenue.
According to police, Castleberry stabbed Mitchell in the hand in the moments leading up to the shooting. Court documents state Castleberry thought the attack was an attempted kidnapping and rape since Mitchell did not present a badge and was wearing plain clothes at the time.
Mitchell claims the shooting of Castleberry was in self-defense.
Mitchell has been held in federal custody pending an unrelated case in which he is accused of forcing women to have sex with him to avoid arrest.
The former vice officer faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charge. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Mitchell could be sentenced to between three and 11 years in prison.