There are two David Mitchells — and apparently a 73-year-old birdwatcher who ended up beaten and brutally raped in Central Park met up with the wrong one, claims the guy’s half-brother.
Mitchell hails from tiny Jenkinjones, West Virginia, a coal town on the border of Virginia. You’d think someone like this guy would stand out in a place where there’s only about 300 people — or would his dual personality make the population 301?
Joe Mitchell, 43, who is the accused rapist’s half-brother, says David has a split personality disorder, and his alter-ego, “Johnny,” commits all the crimes.
“We fought down the driveway, he broke my back and hit me in the back with a brick. That’s the first time I met him and the last time he came out to meet me … I ain’t met him since. I guess y’all met him out there [in New York].”
Joe, who was only 22 then, had to wear a back brace for six months, but he beat the crap out of his brother too and broke his ribs. Or maybe Johnny’s ribs.
Anyway, Johnny or David — or whoever he is — has a huge history back in Jenkinjones and across the border in Virginia, and it’s a wonder he is out of prison at all. Maybe they kept David behind bars and let Johnny out to lurk in the bushes of Central Park to attack elderly women.
1. He’s Been In and Out of Prison for Years
Mitchell’s prison time started back when he was 18 years old. He’s been arrested twice for raping elderly women, suspected of killing one female neighbor and acquitted of killing another. People back in Jenkinjones bought guns when they found out he was getting out of prison last year, they were so scared.
2. He’s Already Violated Parole Three Times Since He Got Out
Mitchell, 42, served his longest sentence, eight years in a Virginia prison, for kidnapping an ex-girlfriend in 2003. He violated his probation three times and then ran away to New York, where police said he attacked his latest elderly victim as she fed birds in Strawberry Fields, the section of Central Park dedicated to John Lennon.
3. He Hit His First Elderly Victims Before He Turned 21
Mitchell faced his first felony arrest back in 1989, when he was accused of killing a 86-year-old Jenkinjones woman. He was acquitted though, but and a few months later, he raped another elderly Jenkinjones woman and stole her gun. The Charleston, West Virginia Gazette says prosecutors let him plea bargain down the sexual assault charge, and he was sent off to jail — but he escaped for two days and got charged with the escape as well.
4. Jail Didn’t Teach This Guy Anything
Mitchell was let out of the Mount Olive Correctional Center in February 2000, and that December, he got sent back to jail for a grand larceny charge. He was out by the next year, though.
5. He’ll Tell You Anything When He’s Drunk
A year after he got out, he was home when 54-year-old Barbara Flake went missing in Jenkinjones. Her skull turned up two years later and Mitchell’s ex-girlfriend Saretta Mitchell told police David brags when he drinks.
“In a social setting, when there’s alcohol involved, he will tell you anything. He bragged to me and some of our friends at different times that he had murdered two people.”
6. He Doesn’t Like to Be Dumped
About a year after Flake disappeared, Mitchell stole a car and kidnapped Saretta Mitchell. But he wasn’t finished drinking — he drove drunk in the stolen car while police chased him down. He ended up in Red Onion State Prison in Virginia, a maximum-security joint for the worst offenders.
7. He’s Even Scary for Central Park
Police said the birdwatcher accidentally took a photo of Mitchell fondling himself in the park just a few days before the attack, and he tried to take her camera. Then on Wednesday, she was attacked in the woods in the park. Last month, Mitchell was charged with threatening a man with a knife, telling him:
“I have no problem stabbing you as many times as I want and making this circle full of blood.”
8. He Tried to Go Straight, Sort Of
He got out of prison and got put in a halfway house in suburban Richmond, Virginia. He was even trying to obtain his GED and passing random piss tests — but about a month in said he got robbed of $125. Eventually he got thrown out of the halfway house, and even went back to prison but got back out yet again.
9. He Can’t Go Home Again
They don’t want him back in Jenkinjones. It’s a small town and they’re terrified. They want New York to lock him up for good. A Jenkinjones man, Wayne Mitchell, who says he’s not related, said people there have guns now and David Mitchell will get killed if he tries to go home.
“To be honest with you, he needs to be put away for life.”
10. There Might Be Something to the Split Personality Thing
Tazewell County Prosecutor Dennis H. Lee says there are some records that haven’t been made public that Mitchell may be schizophrenic. And at the halfway house, Mitchell agreed to a psychological evaluation but got thrown out of the house over fears about his mental state.