Langsville man sentenced to 11 years in prison

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — A Langsville man was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to charges of felonious assault and abduction.

Benjamin Mitchell, 34, pleaded guilty to the charges as the jury trial in his case was set to begin.

Mitchell was originally indicted on one count of felonious assault and two counts of kidnapping. Through a plea agreement, one count of kidnapping was amended to abduction and the second count dismissed.

Prosecutor James K. Stanley told the court that the agreement in the case called for Mitchell to be sentenced to eight years on the felonious assault charge and three years on the abduction charge.

Mitchell’s father, Edward Mitchell, had previously pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Judge I. Carson Crow accepted Mitchell’s guilty plea, and then called the nearly two dozen potential jurors back into the court room to explain that there had been a plea in the case and they were being dismissed from jury service for the day.

After the potential jurors left the courtroom, Mitchell was brought back in and the court proceeded to the sentencing phase.

The victim in the case addressed the court, as she had done at Edward Mitchell’s sentencing.

Standing before the court, the victim recalled the details of the night of the crime, being beaten and stabbed by the defendants and feeling as if she were going to die.

She told Mitchell and the court that she had a family to live for and did not want her children to have to live without their mother is what kept her going through the ordeal.

She recalled Mitchell saying that she needed to die and asking his father to help finish her off.

As the two men began fighting with one another, the victim said she heard God telling her to get up and run. She made it out of the house and ran until she fell into a ditch where she was unable to be seen when the men drove by in a car on two occasions. She was then able to run and crawl to a house where she was able to get help.

While she had scars on her arm and face, the victim said the deepest cut is the one inside, which she lives with each day.

“I hope you keep this with you and put yourself in my shoes,” she said to Benjamin Mitchell.

Defense attorney Michael Huff told the victim he respected her statement and apologized on behalf of Benjamin Mitchell.

Huff told the court that Mitchell has had some issues in his life that led to the incident in August.

Mitchell was, according to his attorney, on a seven or eight day methamphetamine binge, which can lead to paranoia.

Huff stated that Mitchell’s concern for the victim was part of why he was entering the plea as he did not want her to have to testify.

Crow asked the victim if she was in agreement with the plea agreement before the court and she stated she was.

Mitchell briefly addressed the court, apologizing to the victim for his actions. He said that he hoped some good could come of the incident and that it had already led two people to turn back to God.

Crow sentenced Mitchell to eight years in prison on the felonious assault charge and three years in prison on the abduction charge — the maximum on both charges.

By Sarah Hawley