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Teddy Mitchell seeks leniency in Oklahoma County gambling case for daughter's sake

Sentencing in his illegal gambling case is scheduled for Tuesday in Oklahoma City federal court.
by Nolan Clay Modified: November 24, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: November 24, 2013

Teddy Mitchell is asking for leniency in his illegal gambling case for the sake of his 4-year-old daughter.

Mitchell has raised his daughter, London, by himself since his wife was beaten to death Nov. 2, 2010, in the bedroom of their Oklahoma City home. London was then 13 months old.

“All she knows now is the love of her father,” Mitchell's attorneys wrote in a sentencing memo. “They are extraordinarily close and Mr. Mitchell is an excellent and attentive father. … The less time Mr. Mitchell spends in prison, the better off London will be.”

The sentencing is set for Tuesday in Oklahoma City federal court. Mitchell, 59, is asking U.S. District Judge David Russell to give him six months or less in prison.

Prosecutors want the judge to be tough on Mitchell, who — they claim — was motivated by a lust for easy money.

Prosecutors suggested the judge consider as a benchmark the punishment he gave in 1997 to Mitchell's mentor, Nichols Hills gambler Pody Poe.

“This notorious and brazen scofflaw of Oklahoma City was sentenced to 60 months for the same type of conduct,” prosecutors wrote in a legal response to the sentencing memo.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in July to involvement in an illegal offshore Internet sports gambling business. Prosecutors called him one of the most successful “sub-agents” in the Costa Rica-based business, making roughly $900,000 a year.

Mitchell also pleaded guilty in July to a money-laundering conspiracy.

“I didn't realize I was doing something wrong,” he told the judge then.

Mitchell originally was charged with 49 felony counts but pleaded guilty to only two under a deal reached with prosecutors. The other counts will be dismissed at his sentencing.

Under the deal, the federal government gets more than $1 million worth of his real estate and other property.

Because of his wife's death, his case has attracted far more public attention than other gambling cases.

Police have made no arrests in the homicide of Julie Mitchell. She was 34. She and Teddy Mitchell had been married five years. He was traveling to California at the time of her death.

In their bid for leniency, defense attorneys filed almost 30 character letters from Mitchell's friends and relatives. Many asked the judge to consider London in deciding punishment.

“After the murder, she was laying on her mother's body, when her brother found her. She would not let anyone hold her except Teddy,” his mother, Lisa Mitchell, 81, wrote the judge. “This went on for quite some time. … To this day, if she hears loud men, outside the front door, she takes my hand and asks me not to open it.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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