Brandon Mitchell is seen during a Jan. 7 court appearance. He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and falsifying physical evidence Wednesday in a filing in Carroll County Superior Court. (FILE PHOTO)
OSSIPEE — A Jackson man Wednesday filed not guilty pleas to murder and falsifying physical evidence in Carroll County being indicted by a grand jury last month.
Brandon R. Mitchell, 21, being held in the county jail, has been indicted on multiple charges in connection with the shooting death of Esmae Doucette, 23, in Jackson, on Nov. 30, 2022 at the Dana Place Apartments. Doucette died Dec. 2.
On Feb. 17, a Carroll County grand jury returned indictments charging Mitchell with one count of second-degree murder and accused him of knowingly causing Doucette’s death by shooting her.
The grand jury also indicted Mitchell on an alternative count of second-degree murder for recklessly causing the death of Doucette under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, by shooting her.
If convicted of both second-degree murder counts, Mitchell could only be sentenced on one of them because they pertain to the same murder but describe Mitchell’s alleged conduct differently. Both carry potential life sentences.
He also was indicted for allegedly falsifying physical evidence, claiming that Mitchell, “believing that an investigation was pending or about to be instituted, altered or concealed something, to wit, moving or placing a bullet cartridge in the bedroom, with a purpose to impair its verity or availability in such investigation.”
The not guilty plea was part of "waiver of arraignment" paperwork filed by his attorney, John Bresaw of Friedman & Bresaw of Meredith on March 15. The paperwork says that bail was to remain unchanged from Dec. 5, when he was ordered held without bail.
Because arraignment was waived and Mitchell didn't seek bail, a court appearance scheduled for Thursday (March 16) was cancelled.
The charges and allegations against Mitchell are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
At a court appearance on Feb. 1, Superior Court Judge Mark Attorri agreed to the case on a trial track and have a trial next January. Dates will be selected over the summer.
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