Mitchell’s federal public defenders admit that he “muttered” the statement, but they said in court papers that “there is no evidence that this was a real threat.”
“It was clear from the rest of what he said that he was upset and thinking about the arrest,” they said. “In fact, when he was free for two weeks in Arizona before going back to Florida, he did nothing to get in touch with the alleged victim or her family.”
Mitchell was indicted in April on 18 state charges. He now faces three federal charges: a civil rights violation for sexually assaulting a minor, kidnapping a minor, and misleading state investigators, according to a new indictment from the Department of Justice.
Mitchell could get anywhere from 20 years to life in prison if he is found guilty of the federal charges. He could also have to pay a $250,000 fine and be on supervised parole for the rest of his life, the Department of Justice said in a statement on Nov. 30, when the superseding indictment was made public.
Mitchell was told to stay in jail until he went to court. When he was charged by the state, he posted bond and was allowed to live with his parents in Miami while being watched by technology. In August, he was arrested again because he was charged with one count of kidnapping a minor. A federal judge then ordered that he stay in jail.
“If Mitchell was brave enough to kidnap a girl near her school, violent enough to sexually assault her, smart enough to get rid of evidence against him, and careless enough to threaten her while in police custody, then none of Mitchell’s proposed conditions of release would reasonably ensure the safety of the community and the victim,” prosecutors said in court papers filed on Nov. 10.
According to the court papers, Mitchell worked for the CBP at a border post in Douglas, Arizona. The only thing CBP would say is that Mitchell is no longer working for the department.
In a statement to the Tucson Sentinel on April 28, CBP said, “We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our employees, whether it happens on or off duty.”
At the time, they told the Douglas Police Department to answer any questions.