Good morning all! They will get started with opening statements in a few minutes.
Jury selection took longer than anyone expected. I guess the first day there were several that had issues with serving. I think students and professors from ISU and then others who didn't like the idea of serving on a murder trial.
Assistant Co. Linn County Attorney Nic Scott will give his opening first and then Tyler Johnston, Mitchell's attorney, will follow.
Mitchell is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.
Scott: Mitchell needed crack cocaine and he didn't care who he killed to get his fix. He killed Cathy Stickley. His bloody hand prints were found in Stickley's blood.
Scott: Stickley was charismatic and caring. The last time her family saw her was that night before she went to work as a cab driver.
Scott: Stickley was on her first fare that night. She was found lying face down outside the cab in her blood.
Scott: Investigators found blood on gate in the alleyway. Police found her blue purse and bank bag across the street. Her blood was on the bag. She was murdered for $53.
Scott: She was violently stabbed 12 times, in the face, one stabbed penetrated her eye, and in the neck which caused massive blood loss. Mitchell took her life at age 55.
Scott: Eyewitnesses saw Mitchell in the cab as they were driving around the corner and then saw Stickley's body. Then they saw Mitchell talking to a crack cocaine dealer.
Scott: The man who saw Michell with the dealer called an officer he knew after wards and told him about the incident. He identified Mitchell by a photo line up.
Scott: Mitchell bought crack from a dealer and told him he would be back later. Mitchell came back later but didn't have any money. This is when Mitchell decided to steal money from STickley.
Scott: Mitchell went and robbed and killed Stickley, and then went back to the dealer and gave him bloody money.
Scott: The dealer and the other man, both have committed drug crimes and are both in prison but the person who committed this crime was Mitchell. There is evidence of prints, 3 bloody prints that matched Mitchell.
Scott: POlice also found a crack pipe in Mitchell's trash. The prints and crack pipe support what the witnesses saw that night.
Judge is calling for break before Johnston gives his opening.
Johnston opening: This is the other half of the story. The evidence will show that he didn't kill Stickley. His prints were found outside the cab and inside on the log sheet. That's not in dispute. It's circumstantial evidence.
Johnston: Consider all the circumstantial evidence and you will learn he isn't guilty. One of the witnesses says he saw Mitchell after Stickley was dead. He saw someone rummaging around in the cab.
Johnston: Mitchell's prints were found in STickley's blood but it's not evidence of her murder. He should be charged in this crime but not for killing her.
Johnston: This is a high traffic crime area. There are many who go through this area. Mitchell wasn't a crack addict. The dealer will say that this was the first time Mitchell had bought crack.
Johnston: The evidence will show that Mitchell didn't kill Stickley because that person is likely left handed. There was blood all over this cab - on steering wheel, on seats, on console.
He is showing jurors photos of blood in cab.
Johnston: Blood would have been on Mitchell's clothes. There was no knife at the scene. No fibers or hairs from Mitchell were found. There is no DNA evidence linking Mitchell to this crime.
Johnston: There were no scratches on Mitchell's from a struggle with Stickley.
Johnston: There's no doubt this killing took place inside the cab. If the person was a passenger, the person would have been left handed because the stab wounds were on her left side. That's also circumstantial evidence for you to consider.
Johnston: Scott didn't tell you the whole story of what happened that night. Stickley was in her cab parked in the alley about 2 blks from Road Ranger.
Johnston: There is surveillance tape of her pulling out 9:21 p.m. to pick up fare at Hy-Vee. It's nearly next door. She reports nobody was there when she went to pick them up. Then she has a fare at Hy-Vee to go to Dancer's Ranch, a strip club.
Johnston: Stickley doesn't enter the club in her log book. She didn't go that way. She went north, according to the GPS and a security camera passed Rolstons about 9:30 p.m. At 9:32 p.m. she is still going north. According to GPS, she entered parking lot and just sitting there. It wasn't entered into log book.
Johnston: She ends up about two blocks from her original location in that alley. About 9:52 p.m. she receives a text from her daughter telling her there's a new True Blood. Stickley texts back "Cool." The time is important because the a surveillance cab shows her going back to by Road Ranger.
Johnston: What does that mean? We don't know, except Stickley was doing something she wasn't supposed to. She was doing something drug related. It could be possible motive for someone to kill her. She could be involved with the dealer and other witness.
Johnston: It's a mystery but it's part of his entire case.
Johnston: The blood had rings on the log which means it's been there for a while. There was a lot going on that night. A gun was fired that night and there was a lot of activity going on. One witness says he heard honking that night.
Johnston: After the honking, he saw a Impala driving up the alley, which may have been one of the state's witnesses.
Johnston: I'm asking you to keep an open mind and look at all the evidence in this case. Mitchell may have been at the car that night but he is not the killer and the evidence will show that.
The openings are completed.
Michael Williams of Cedar Rapids will take the stand.