In a final report, the state's 13th multicounty grand jury revealed Thursday that new leads came out of its investigation of the brutal beating death of Julie Mitchell, a wealthy gambler's wife.
Grand jurors reported they are “optimistic that this case will ultimately be solved.”
Oklahoma County prosecutors last year turned to the state grand jury for help investigating the Nov. 2, 2010, death of Julie Mitchell because some witnesses weren't cooperating with police.
The victim was the wife of Teddy Mitchell, who is suspected of running an illegal gambling operation out of his northwest Oklahoma City home. Julie Mitchell, 34, was found beaten to death inside the home, while her husband was traveling.
Police earlier this year focused on an Edmond insurance agent, who allegedly owed Teddy Mitchell money. The agent, Michael Wayne Thomas, 41, has denied involvement in the beating.
The grand jury reported it heard testimony from numerous witnesses regarding Julie Mitchell's death.
“Investigators continue to follow leads — many of which came from these grand jury witnesses,” according to its report. “It is recommended that any future grand jury continue to investigate this very brutal crime.”
In another case
About another high-profile homicide case, involving an Edmond baby, the grand jury did not express any optimism in its report.
The victim, Jacob “Jake” Ryan Hedger, died of blunt force head trauma in March 2011, one day after he was taken by ambulance from his babysitter's Edmond home, records show.
He was almost 9 months old.
At issue is when the baby suffered the trauma that killed him — before or after his parents dropped him off with the baby sitter, Traci Kramer. Experts have differing opinions on the time.
Grand jurors reported taking testimony from multiple witnesses about the baby's death and reviewing medical records “from multiple physicians and medical personnel.”
“This is a tragic and heartbreaking case and it is recommended that law enforcement and future grand juries continue to investigate the case,” the grand jury wrote.