Friday, January 25, 2013

Orangeburg County, SC: Accused of murder, lawyer says pregnant woman was defending herself

An attorney representing a woman charged with stabbing her boyfriend to death says the facts are leading toward a case of self-defense.
Defense attorney Byron Gibson declined to comment in detail 24 hours after his client was taken into custody. But he said there may be more to the altercation that led to the death of a 23-year-old man.
“Our brief investigation at this point tends to show that she was defending herself,” he said.
Natalie Mitchell, 29, of 1255 Douglas MacArthur St., was charged Wednesday with murder in the death of her boyfriend, Cameron Hanton.
She was also charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana within proximity of a school.
Orangeburg City Judge Barney Houser informed Mitchell any bond consideration for the murder charge would have to come from a circuit court judge at a later date.
Gibson informed the court he would prefer if bond could be set on the two lesser charges.
“I understand we’re here for what is a tragic situation,” he said. “We would just ask the court to consider her lack of running and her roots in the community.”
Houser set bond on Mitchell’s drug charges at $10,000 surety.
Even with bond set on the drug charges, Mitchell still has to go to the circuit court level for bond to be set on the murder charge before she can be released.
Houser granted a request that would allow prenatal care medication to be delivered to Mitchell while she’s incarcerated. Gibson said his client is five months pregnant.
Mitchell has one other child. Investigators said that child was not in the residence at the time of the confrontation.
Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Capt. Mike Adams said there was a “significant amount of marijuana found in the residence” when police arrived.
Adams said investigators haven’t physically weighed all of it, but there appeared to be several pounds of a substance stored in multiple freezer bags inside the home.
Authorities believe the death stemmed from a domestic dispute. Adams said the narcotics found in the home appear to have had nothing to do with the dispute that led to Hanton’s stabbing.
Investigators are probing information they received that Mitchell had been in communication with a former boyfriend. That information has not been confirmed, however.
Police were called to the Douglas MacArthur Street residence shared by the couple around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. They found Hanton on the kitchen floor. A knife was next to him.
According to a police incident report, Mitchell told investigators that Hanton pulled a pistol on her and at one point put it in her mouth before pinning her on a couch. She said she broke free and grabbed a knife.
Police searched the residence for any firearm. They found a pump shotgun and, in a bedroom, a handgun underneath a pile of clothing in a clothes basket.
Neighbors said Mitchell ran to their residence asking for help, stating her boyfriend had suffered a seizure. The neighbors, however, said when they saw Hanton, “they realized immediately Mr. Hanton was not having a seizure,” according to the incident report.
Officials say Hanton was stabbed once in the left side of the chest and died of blood loss. He was declared dead at the scene.

No comments: