The first phase of the trial for Copper Basin Vet, Dr. William Mitchell took place on Thursday, October 10th. Support for the doctor was very prominent in the Fannin County Courthouse. As FYN awaited the doctor’s arrival, they spoke with several supporters. All of them were appalled that the Department of Natural Resources had pressed the issue thus far. To date, Mitchell has been arraigned on three different occasions with each arraignment being slightly different in the charges. The District Attorney’s Office offered a plea deal of a $50 fine and two years of probation but Mitchell refused as he stated that
“I’m not guilty and it is the principal of it”.
Once Mitchell arrived at the courthouse, Mitchell was greeted with his over twenty supporters. When asked how he was feeling, Mitchell told FYN that he was a little nervous but that he appreciated all of the support he had there with him.
After entering the courtroom, Mitchell took a seat with his supporters. Some of those that were there for the doctor included animal activists that are well known like Mr. Ralph Garner, Jan Eaton and James Bond. Other supporters were in the courtroom as well. While the majority of those there for the Mitchell case, one unexpected guest was Commissioner Chairman Bill Simonds. FYN did not get a chance to directly ask why he was there before he returned to his office immediately after the case was over.
As the calendar call was done, Mitchell and his supporters were made aware that the case was in court because it was scheduled for a pre-trial conference. After the complete calendar call, Mitchell’s defense attorney requested to the judge that his client be dismissed because there wasn’t going to be an agreement met between the defense and the District Attorney’s Office. Assistant District Attorney, Rita Lewis informed the judge that the state would like to strike a portion of what they suspected would be Mitchell’s defense. Mitchell’s attorney stated that he was unsure as to what they would like to strike considering all of the defense relevant to the charges. Lewis continued that the state would like to limit the case to Mitchell’s having two deer without a permit and nothing else. Judge Weaver told each side to file their motions and once the motions were decided on by a judge that they would set a trial date.
After being dismissed, Mitchell left the courtroom followed by his supporters as they gathered around and listened to him speak regarding the charges against him. “I want a jury trial” he said. Supporters verbally applauded his desires and willingness to push the DNR and DA’s Office to prove their case.
After Mitchell left, FYN spoke with supporter, James Bond. Bond explained that he wished that Mitchell would notify the ASPCA of the situation and see if they would sponsor an attorney to support and defend Mitchell.
“Those attorneys know cases like this like the back of their hand. They do it every day”
Bond said. Bond also felt like Chairman Bill Simonds was in attendance to make his presence known, simply because Mitchell and his supporters have opposed him on many occasions when addressing the ongoing issues at Fannin County Animal Control.
FYN will keep you up to date on the events of the trial of Dr. William Mitchell with Copper Basin Veterinary Clinic.