Oct 2, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Sep 18, 2014
Sep 4, 2014
Manchester man jailed for best friend's death in fatal 2011 crash
Mathieu's mother, Lynette Shinsato, told Judge Kenneth McHugh how she asked John Mitchell, 25, to be the designated driver on the night of the Oct. 23, 2011 crash, and is struggling with forgiveness after Mitchell tried to trick police into thinking he was not behind the wheel.
"My faith and my belief system have been shaken," Shinsato said. "Will God forgive me for not forgiving the actions of another?"
Mitchell pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, aggravated drunken driving and reckless conduct on Nov. 29 for killing Mathieu and injuring another passenger. Mathieu was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, after Mitchell's 2006 Honda Civic went off of Old Manchester Road in Derry about 1:50 a.m., struck a tree and rolled over.
Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton argued for a six- to 12-year sentence, saying the broken promise to Mathieu's mother, and Mitchell's claim of not being the driver warranted a longer-than-average prison term.
"That kind of shows you something - what type of character, what type of man he is," Bolton told McHugh in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Mitchell climbed into the back seat and maintained - even while at the hospital - that someone else drove the vehicle, Bolton said.
Another passenger, Brooke Scott, 20, was injured during the crash.
Anthony Mathieu was one of three brothers who served in the military during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A 2005 graduate of Memorial High School in Manchester, Mathieu enlisted in the Marines and served two tours of duty in Iraq between 2007 and 2008.
He had been out of the service for two years, going to college at Southern New Hampshire University and working at his family business, Capital Auto Auction in Manchester, at the time of the crash, according to his mother.
Mitchell turned to Shinsato in court and apologized for his actions, saying she and Mathieu had been like a second family to him.
"To say I left a brother behind, I can't refute that," he said, "but I loved Anthony, no matter what my poor judgment shows. For the rest of my life, I will love him."
McHugh spoke about the challenges he has faced in crafting sentences for negligent homicide cases during his 35 years on the bench, especially when there was no intent to end someone's life.
He said if he knew that a 50-year sentence would bring Mathieu back, "I would impose that sentence. That would probably be true justice."
McHugh said while a four-year minimum might sound like a light punishment to some, "Mr. Mitchell will be associated with a whole of bad people. It's not a lifestyle he is used to."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester police: Ga. man stole truck in Mass. to visit mom in NH - 0
- South African Olympian Pistorius sentenced to five years in girlfriend's murder - 0
- Manchester Crimewatch: Fingerprints of man accused of theft belong to 2 people - 0
- Lookout man in Bedford home invasion case pleads guilty - 0
- Hearing postponed for suspended fire official - 0
- Confessed serial burglar facing new charges - 0
- Former Litchfield parochial school principal to plead guilty to embezzlement - 0
- Dover man faces manufacturing child porn charges after sex assault case - 0
- Murder-suicide ruled in Fremont deaths - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- GT Advanced Technology attorney hoping for Apple agreement today to allow more openness in bankruptcy court - 0
- Nashua caretaker wants evidence suppressed in sexual assault case - 0
- NH highways have potentialy deadly guardrail end pieces, transportation commissioner says - 0
- Neighbor won't be charged in shooting death of Rumney chiropractor - 9
- Staples says it is probing possible payment card data breach - 0
- Expect the unexpected in NHIAA field hockey tourneys - 0
- Giants' blueprint? There is none - 0
- Despite contract provisions, most Manchester police officers live outside city - 11
- Kathy Sullivan: Scott Brown does not get what 'pro-choice' really means - 11
A series of sharp exchanges at 2nd CD debate
Murder-suicide ruled in Fremont deaths
Keene police working to identify rioters, notify other colleges of students' participation
Locked in a dead heat, Shaheen, Brown spar