The state's multicounty grand jury Tuesday heard testimony from the husband and a stepson of Julie Mitchell, who was brutally beaten to death in her upscale Oklahoma City home in November.
The husband, Teddy Mitchell, testified for almost three hours. The stepson, Daniel Mitchell, testified for almost two hours.
“He's done what he's always done. He helped and cooperated,” said Teddy Mitchell's attorney, Bob Jackson. “It's difficult for Teddy because of having to go back and remember all that. Yeah, that part was rough.”
Police have not identified any suspects. The grand jury hears testimony in private, closed sessions so what was asked of the witnesses is not known. Witnesses are not allowed to discuss what they told the grand jury.
Prosecutors turned to the grand jury for help in the investigation because some people have refused to talk with police detectives.
Police have had witness problems because Teddy Mitchell, 56, is suspected of involvement in illegal gambling, and some people don't want to implicate themselves in those activities, sources have told The Oklahoman.
“It's common knowledge now that he was involved in bookmaking and things like that,” Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty told KWTV-9 in November.
About the case
Daniel Mitchell found his stepmother's body late Nov. 2, his attorney said. Teddy Mitchell was traveling to California when he learned of his wife's death, friends have said.
Julie Mitchell, 34, died from multiple blunt force trauma to her head, an autopsy report shows. She suffered a broken nose, a broken jaw, a shattered skull, a broken rib and 25 large cuts to her scalp.
Her body was in the master bedroom closet of her husband's $359,000 house in northwest Oklahoma City. Their 1-year-old daughter, London, was in a pool of blood next to the body. The girl was not harmed.
Daniel Mitchell's attorney, Scott Adams told reporters Tuesday, “We've cooperated fully. He answered every question. … Hopefully, we've given them some information that can help them solve this. It's a mystery to my client of who did it. He was traumatized by having to go in there and see his stepmother the way she was and pick up the little infant. He's going through a lot right now. He just wants to get this matter behind him, and hopefully, they'll make an arrest shortly.”
The first witness Tuesday was an Oklahoma City police detective, Bryn Carter. He testified for more than an hour.
The grand jury meets in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater ran out of time Tuesday before he was able to call all the witnesses who had been subpoenaed. Among those who did not get to testify were two other stepsons, Dryden Mitchell and Nick Mitchell.
The grand jury is expected to assist in the homicide investigation again in April and the witnesses could be asked to testify then.