Justice for Jonathan Mitchell

jonathan-mitchell

Jonathan Mitchell

In Albuquerque, NM, on a dark night in a quiet neighborhood, 23 year-old Iraq War Veteran Jonathan Mitchell was shot and killed in March 2013.  He was killed by Donnie Pearson.  Pearson has not been arrested due to a claim of self-defense.

The story given to police is Pearson’s and his neighbor’s story.  Ventana Ranch resident Jose Beltran told police that when he came home from work, he saw a man with a gun in his driveway. Instead of parking, he drove away and called his family to warn them. One of Beltran’s family members then called Pearson and told him that Jose said he saw an armed man in the driveway.

Pearson told police that he then got his 15 year-old son, and they both got into Pearson’s SUV, and set out to look for the suspicious man with a gun.

Pearson told officers he saw Mitchell run from a neighbor’s house into an open garage. As Pearson stopped by the garage, Mitchell stepped out and fired at Pearson and his son.  Pearson returned fire, hitting Jonathan in the shoulder.

A few minutes later, Jonathan Mitchell was dead from loss of blood, only a few feet from his own back door

Reports say that Mitchell was the first to fire.  His brother, Aaron Mitchell, said Jonathan would only fire if he saw a gun.  Aaron is a police officer in the state of Florida, and said “Pearson had no business driving around at 11:23 at night with his 15-year-old son looking for an armed assailant. Why they haven’t charged Pearson is unbelievable to me.

He said the violent crimes investigators bought Pearson’s version of events because of their “preconceived notions” about his brother. “Before they knew he was an Iraq War veteran, they treated him like he was a prowler that didn’t belong in the neighborhood,” Aaron said.

Aaron is correct.  A news report of KRQE represents Jonathan as a burglar or someone who was dangerous to the neighborhood rather than a homeowner with Castle Doctrine rights.

In the video, please listen carefully to Jonathan’s neighbor, Mandy Hatfield.  She states that she talked to other neighbors “briefly” but never expected someone to be shot.   Not expecting someone to be shot indicates that the talk she had with other neighbors was to make Jonathan uncomfortable living there. Why? When did she talk to those neighbors?  Why did she think there was a problem to resolve, but not to resolve by shooting?

Subsequently, the video from a police helicopter was released.  It reveals that Pearson slowly pulled up to Jonathan’s drive-way.  He stopped across the drive-way.  Jonathan was in his garage with the door opened.  It shows Jonathan fire towards Pearson’s SUV.

Jonathan’s younger brother Benjamin said that after the shooting, he and his brother ran out the back door because they thought they were under attack, but they only made it as far as the neighbor’s yard before Jonathan collapsed and died. Benjamin says the Albuquerque PD made matters worse by leaving him handcuffed for several hours while he was detained for questioning—without medical attention, bathroom access or a phone call.

img-Protest-to-be-held-outside-Bernalillo-Co-DA-s-office

Albuquerque police said investigators didn’t have probable cause to charge Pearson.  Just last week, almost a year since Jonathan was killed on his own property, the New Mexico State Police has now taken over the investigation.

University of New Mexico sociology professor Maria Vélez said this case illustrates society’s tendency to overestimate the relationship between race and crime. “I think what happens is we are quick to judge someone who is minority and assume some sort of problematic behavior rather than give that person the benefit of the doubt.”  Vélez said these assumptions persist because “it is difficult to change people’s fears about minorities.”

What we don’t know is what may have taken place between Jose Beltran and Jonathan Mitchell before Beltran made that call to his family.  Neither do we know why Beltran’s family would call Pearson.  It is obvious why Pearson had his 15 year-old son ride with him.  According to reports, Pearson’s reason for returning fire was because Jonathan allegedly shot at his son.

There is a petition on change.org for the arrest of Donnie Pearson.  Click here to sign.

The petition sets forth New Mexico statute:

“Under New Mexico law, the defendant’s perception of the threat must have been reasonable. Armed pursuit of an individual through a dark neighborhood does not show reasonable fear or perception of threat.

The rule in New Mexico is that “a defendant who provokes an encounter, as a result of which he [or she] finds it necessary to use deadly force to defend himself [or herself], is guilty of an unlawful homicide and cannot avail himself [or herself] of the claim that he [or she] was acting in self-defense.” Lucero, 1998-NMSC-044.”

Posted on 03/17/2014, in Trials & Cases and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. kindheart101

    Oh my dear God, here we go again!

    I am so sorry Jonathan. I’m sorry you were exposed to such a shallow, angry, aggressive maniac.

    You served your country. You took a pledge to serve and protect us. Thank you for that Jonathan.

    RIP Dear One.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kindheart101,
      Great seeing you! (Hugs)

      Like

      • kindheart101

        Many (((Hugs))) back Xena.

        I am quickly losing faith in the human race, as well as the police, and our judicial system.

        Listen to this one…… Last Thursday I was on my driveway, removing my back tire center cap to get a manufacture number so I could order a new one for the one that came off my front tire. I live in a residential gated neighborhood, and seldom has there been any problems at all in the last ten years since I bought here.

        All of a sudden I hear kids screaming? I can’t tell if they are being hurt? In fear? Or having a great time?

        Then I see a van round the corner, with 2 kids, about 7 or 8 years old, on the roof of the van!! There was a car top carrier, and they were sitting on it, with their bare feet hanging down on the windshield, and they were screaming and laughing??? There is a 20 mile speed limit, and I’m certain they were going every bit of it!

        I got in my car and followed it, as it pulled into an apartment down the street from me. I called 911 and gave the make, model, description of the kids and the driver.

        Do you know what I was told? They would give them a warning………..because it could have caused possible harm?

        It’s NO WONDER people feel free to pull out a gun and kill someone anymore. All you have to do is say “I was afraid”…..”It was self defense”.

        We are legally going in the wrong direction!

        Like

  2. So instead of calling the police, they just took matters into their own hands…

    Like

    • To me he’s a text book vigilante.

      Like

      • Racer,
        I suspect there is more to this story than what happened that night. The neighbor interviewed by the media let the cat out of the bag.

        Like

    • Mindyme, I think they did eventually call the police because the police helicopter captured the video. However, Pearson placed himself in position to kill Jonathan before the police arrived so he would be the only one alive to tell how it happened. The video does blow his story that he saw Jonathan run from a neighbor’s house into an open garage. An open garage??? Like anyone’s garage, when it was Jonathan’s own property!!

      It’s similar to another case we know where the person got out of his vehicle to follow a “suspicious person” on foot who ran from him, and killed that person before the cops arrived so he would be the only one alive to tell how it happened.

      Like

  3. Jueseppi B.

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

    Like

    • Jueseppi,
      Hey there friend! Thanks for the re-blog.

      Like

      • Jueseppi B.

        My pleasure, you keeping busy these days? How is your stalker problem? It’s spring time this week.

        Like

        • Jueseppi, I’ve been busier than a bee in a flower garden. 🙂

          LE must have done their job, because the stalker problem has ceased. However, if they begin stalking other bloggers and defaming me, I would like to know.

          Some geese came around my house today, so I suppose that Spring is on its way. But, we still have snow outside.

          Like

  4. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    This is a shame and a sin.

    Like

  5. This story gives me the chills.

    Mindyme62, you point things out correctly! Pearson should have called the police. And, before that Beltran and his family should have called the police instead of his family calling Pearson.

    Here again, we see a vigilante having his story accepted. Pearson simply went after Jonathan Mitchell …..Mitchell had every right as a home owner to defend himself against Pearson.

    May Jonathan Mitchell receive the justice that he deserves.

    Like

    • (Just saw your response to Mindyme, Xena, speculating that someone did call the police and that was why the helicopter captured the event on video.)

      Like

    • towerflower

      I think it’s obvious that someone did call police otherwise the chopper would not have been right there.

      Like

  6. towerflower

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, look at the chopper video. Are the SUV’s light off? It looks like that to me. You have a combat trained vet who notices a slow moving, lights off vehicle approach and I can imagine that his senses were on high alert. I can see him firing for his own safety especially if he saw a firearm first considering what I believe I saw.

    Also who idiot takes his 15 yr old son along for a “suspect” hunt? That’s just plain crazy. If he wanted to protect his son he would have/should have left him at home.

    Like

    • You are right, towerflower! The SUV’s lights ARE off.

      Like

      • You can see that the headlights are off in this photo:

        Like

        • towerflower

          Yahtzee, any chance you can get still photos of right before the shooting? To see if the shooter’s hand was already extended out with the gun? I saw just a quick clip and do a frame by frame. But I did notice the heat signature of his arm when Jonathan turned to run but he was already shot then.

          Like

          • towerflower, I would like to, but I do not know how. I just happened upon this one.

            If you look at the helicopter’s video closely, you can see the light from the gun firings.

            Like

          • towerflower

            Yahtzee, that’s my problem, I want to slow it down and can’t. It happens too quickly for me to find the fine details.

            Like

          • I saw a small light over Jonathan Mitchell’s left shoulder and a small light at the left top tip of the driver-side windshield where it meets the roof of Donnie Pearson’s vehicle.

            Like

          • towerflower

            Great Xena, I’ll wait on you.

            Like

            • towerflower,
              I have the portion of the video where Pearson pulls up and the shoots are fired — will work on it later today to get it in slow motion.

              Like

    • towerflower,
      You are ON IT!!! I had not noticed that the SUV’s headlights were off.

      If he wanted to protect his son he would have/should have left him at home.

      ABSOLUTELY!!

      Like

      • towerflower

        I wonder if the investigators caught the headlights off and questioned Pearson about it. Driving around a neighborhood slowly with headlights off would make me suspect the vehicle and their intentions.

        Like

    • I think driving with his lights off showed premeditation.

      Like

  7. Lights off, minor in the car – he should be arrested for putting that child in danger on top of murder. OMG When does this end? When?

    Like

  8. In the video, please listen carefully to Jonathan’s neighbor, Mandy Hatfield. She states that she talked to other neighbors “briefly” but never expected someone to be shot. Not expecting someone to be shot indicates that the talk she had with other neighbors was to make Jonathan uncomfortable living there. Why? When did she talk to those neighbors? Why did she think there was a problem to resolve, but not to resolve by shooting?

    Xena, good catch.

    I think we need to learn more about the racial attitudes held by her and people in the neighborhood.

    Like

    • Yahtzee,
      I agree, along with the demographics.

      Just as Zimmerman did not consider that Trayvon could be a resident at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, Pearson may have resented that Jonathan was able to afford a house in Ventana Ranch. Plus, Jonathan was young.

      Like

      • from
        http://alibi.com/news/44536/Neighborhood-Watch.html

        University of New Mexico sociology professor Maria Vélez said this case illustrates society’s tendency to overestimate the relationship between race and crime.

        “I think what happens is we are quick to judge someone who is minority and assume some sort of problematic behavior rather than give that person the benefit of the doubt,” said Vélez.

        She said these assumptions persist because “it is difficult to change people’s fears about minorities.”

        Like

    • My wife and I just moved in here (same neighborhood) very close. My wife is black. What should I think? What would you think? I too am a veteran of several recent wars and I assure you if anyone threatens my wife…..”I will NOT miss.” No one has spoken “a word” to us since we moved in over a month ago. Cold

      Like

      • Hi JD and welcome to Blackbutterfly7. Thanks for your service to our country.

        I’m sorry to hear of your experience being ostracized by your neighbors. I don’t know what to think, other than that you and your family are safe.

        The last I read, Donnie has not been arrested; the state police are still investigating; and there was protest in front of the D.A.’s office. I wish that there were media reports keeping us informed of the results of the protests.

        Like

  9. Vigilantism in American needs to be STOPPED!

    Like

    • Racial profiling and stereotyping needs to STOP!

      Just look again at what Xena noted in her article:

      Reports say that Mitchell was the first to fire. His brother, Aaron Mitchell, said Jonathan would only fire if he saw a gun. Aaron is a police officer in the state of Florida, and said “Pearson had no business driving around at 11:23 at night with his 15-year-old son looking for an armed assailant. Why they haven’t charged Pearson is unbelievable to me.”

      He said the violent crimes investigators bought Pearson’s version of events because of their “preconceived notions” about his brother. “Before they knew he was an Iraq War veteran, they treated him like he was a prowler that didn’t belong in the neighborhood,” Aaron said.

      Aaron is correct. A news report of KRQE represents Jonathan as a burglar or someone who was dangerous to the neighborhood rather than a homeowner with Castle Doctrine rights.

      Like

      • towerflower

        I read earlier reports claiming Pearson was doing a welfare check, yeah, drive around slowly with your lights off while you are supposedly checking on the welfare of a neighbor.

        Like

  10. Stand Your Ground Law is nothing less then a License to Kill. The Florida Governor said he would not change a comma in the law. It will be changed. As soon as the ones being hunted really do kill for their own protection. And never travelling alone they will have a witness who could tell the same truth of how they were chased down and defended to save their lives, They will wise up. They will fight back. They will win. And then Florida will be scared enough to change these stop and frisk – stand your ground – profiling laws. Watch what happens and I suspect this won’t be very long from now.

    Like

    • Ken,
      Welcome to Blackbutterfly7.

      I hate to see violence met with violence, but you make a good point. Even traveling with others, I hope someone video records everything. In fact, I hope that more than one person video records it so it cannot be alleged that the tape was altered.

      Like

    • towerflower

      While I agree with the concept of being able to defend yourself, the language does need to be change. There should not be just fear of, but actual proof of a threat, no threat (weapon) you go to jail like in the Dunn case where no weapon was found. Just having “fear” is too broad.

      Like

  11. O/T, but timely. I’m in the process of reading Suspicion Nation by Lisa Bloom. Here is the video of her interview with the Young Turks. Lisa is very candid.

    Like

    • I just watched this and was coming to post it!

      although she knows a lot about the evidence and other things that happened she still doesn’t admit he called Trayvon a fucking coon. it doesn’t surprise me since most ppl, other than us, have completely forgotten about that part of it.
      The other thing she doesn’t mention is the 1st aggressor rule and how this basically null&voids his self defense defense. I wonder if that was purposely ignored and left out of the charges/case by the state, basically to ensure the POS child Stalker/Murderer cld argue self defense in the first place. because otherwise I don’t know how your lawyers can claim SD for the only one w gun after they’ve stalked and chased a unarmed kid on foot..

      other than those issues i’m glad she wrote what she did. I’ll probably buy the book. but it’s strange that she said, without explanation, in another interview that Trayvon’s family is unlikely to sue for wrongful death & so is the DOJ. I wonder why she said that…

      Like

      • Hey Shannon!
        About the 1st aggressor rule, Lisa Bloom did talk about that beginning at 14:21 of the video.

        O’Mara and West didn’t want the initial aggressor jury instruction, and Judge Nelson stated that the prosecution wanted it, the defense didn’t, so she wasn’t going to add it to the jury instructions. She did not give a reason to support her decision.

        Sybrina and Tracy are unlikely to sue because why waste your time and costs when GZ has no assets to pay a judgment? Also, because GZ still owes O’Mara and West, they could very well place an attorney’s lien on whatever assets GZ might acquire, (which I suspect is what happened to the $100K from the painting.)

        As far as the DOJ, the investigation is still open. There have been cases where the DOJ has taken 5 years to make an arrest.

        Meanwhile, we still get a chance to watch the GZ train wreck.

        I plan on blogging about the book as soon as I finish reading it.

        Like

        • Xena, oh well then it seems the judge just didn’t want to clutter up the jury instructions with any of those useless unimportant laws that suggest child killers aren’t permitted to stalk the child, scare the child, chase the child, confront the child and then kill the child if he plans on claiming self defense later.

          ok initially & officially omar took his case pro bono. at least that’s what omar said to court & media in his monthly pleas for donations that would only be spent on experts, food, body guards & luxury hotel suits for the whole grifting family. remember how he kept saying that he hasn’t been paid a dime and his wife was blah blah blah..

          So omar, must have at a later time, drawn up a new contract w gzro for lawyer’s fees since the in court representations on finances were that he was working pro bono? Unless they had a new contract he would have no legal basis to expect payment/put a lien on anything in the future?

          I just have a hard time believing gzro made anything but a half-assed verbal promise to pay omar&west. maybe he said he’d pay them with any “extra” money if they helped bring it in during their public statements that poor oaf George doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning this case unless he gets another half a million in donations.

          IMO that’s why omar said “george needs to pay me” instead of george will pay me.
          i think omar is bitter because he knows he’s gotten all he’s legally entitled to from the killer, and it’s partly his fault because he helped with some serious scams involving the donation monies..i think gzro and omar were very careful about what monies/expenses were documented.

          at first I thought maybe there was some group that was funneling money to gzro using ebay, but I’ve since changed my mind about that. now i don’t believe he got anywhere close to 100K from anyone, and i definitely don’t think the “art” sold for 100K. i’d be open to proof if he can ever provide it..lol

          Like

          • Hey Shannon!
            Oh yes, I remember O’Mara saying that he was representing GZ pro bono. I think that changed when he realized that Shellie misrepresented her knowledge of the money while GZ sat like a “potted palm” in court. O’Mara thought the gravy train was going to keep on coming. You are right that he no doubt had GZ sign another agreement that would pay him fees and costs.

            Let’s not forget that while O’Mara appealed to people for money for GZ’s living expenses and trial experts, he and West formed a company and made a down payment on property with GZ’s legal defense funds. O’Mara was paid monthly rent for that property through those same funds.

            I suspect that something wasn’t on the up-and-up with O’Mara filing a claim against the State for his legal fees and costs. It appears that the matter was not resolved and O’Mara was not paid because of GZ’s motion to dismiss that and the sanctions proceeding.

            As far as his painting, GZ said that it was sold to a private purchaser, meaning, not through the ebay auction. Logically, if he had $100K he should not be homeless and looking to sell his autograph.

            Like

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