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Jury finds Lake County man not guilty of burglary, assault

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After about two hours of deliberating, a jury found a Lake County man not guilty on felony charges of burglary and aggravated assault.

Donald Isadore Mitchell, 36, was accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house and hitting a sleeping man in the face with an unspecified object.

According to court records, at 11:20 p.m. on June 25, 2019, a Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Officer responded to a report of an assault at a woman’s Arlee residence. A woman at the residence said she awoke to the sound of a male guest screaming that he had just been hit by Mitchell. Mitchell was no longer at the residence when the officer arrived. The man who was hit said he might have been struck by a baseball bat, but wasn’t certain. The victim testified that he “locked eyes” with Mitchell after being struck and Mitchell was walking away. He suffered broken teeth and broken facial bones. 

Mitchell maintained that he was at his house with the children he shares with his ex-girlfriend.

Mitchell and the ex-girlfriend were in a custody battle over their children at the time.

The trial started Wednesday, Feb. 26, at District Court in Polson before Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher. Closing arguments were heard the morning of Friday, Feb. 28, with the verdict reached by 12:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Lake County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher prosecuted while Polson Attorney Bob Long represented Mitchell.


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