MESA COUNTY, Colo. Dartanin Mitchell, accused of killing his five week old son, was in court Monday. Mitchell was well enough to see his day in court, after he fell ill while being transported to Mesa County from the Pueblo area last week.
Mitchell had two different hearings today, one for burglary, the other for child abuse charges.
The first line of business was his case plea for burglary charges. He entered a guilty plea to all three counts against him.
Then came the preliminary hearing for the child abuse charges in the death of his young son, Lucius, back in May of 2011.
The District Attorney's Office questioned the first responder to Mitchell's home, when calls came in that his infant son had stopped breathing. The officer recounted the events of that day and said doctors treating the child said Lucius suffered from brain injuries, symptoms of which would have been obvious to anyone caring for the child.
The defense asked the DA's witness to recount how the child's grandparents and neighbors did not notice any obvious signs of child abuse, painting the picture that signs of abuse weren't there. They believe that Mitchell was being charged solely because he was the last person with the baby before he stopped breathing.
Mitchell's child abuse charges remain in place and his arraignment is set for December 31st. His sentencing for burglary charges will be on January 13th.