Verdict Announced in David Mitchell Murder Trial - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Verdict Announced in David Mitchell Murder Trial

Kellene Stockwell
Channel 2 News

A Carson City jury has found David Mitchell guilty of a 25-year-old murder.

The verdict was announced Tuesday morning in a Carson City courtroom as Sheila Jo Harris' mother and sisters gasping with emotion as they heard the verdict. "It's been a huge loss and you know she's forever gone, but at least David Mitchell is locked up and he's not able to hurt any other families," says Shannon Harris.

Mitchell worked at Harris' apartment complex as a handyman when the 18-year-old Douglas County beauty queen was beaten, raped and strangled in January 1982. "He's under the 1982 guidelines and so he faces two consecutive terms and two life terms and the possibility of parole is up to the jury," says Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo.

Earlier this week, a forensic expert testified Mitchell's DNA was found at the murder scene.  Mitchell was extradited earlier this year from his native Trinidad to face charges.

Outside the courtroom, family and friends surrounded Harris' mother, Linda Bratton with support as she embraced the verdict she always knew. "In '84 and '85 we knew that it was him but then it was just gathering the evidence and waiting for the state of the art DNA in 1999."

A sentencing hearing for the 62-year-old is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

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