Texas Teen Who ‘wouldn't Take It Anymore' Gets 30 Years for Killing Stepfather

A Texas teenager pleaded guilty Monday to the fatal shooting of his stepfather in August, according to the Temple Daily Telegram.The 16-year-old, who is not identified because he is a minor, will begin his sentence in a state juvenile facility. However, he may be able to serve part of his 30-year sentence on parole once he is of age.The Temple teen killed stepfather Josh Colby Mitchell, 31, because he "wouldn't take it anymore," a juvenile probation officer testified.The officer, Leticia Rodriguez, said the teen was forced to stay outside of the house while the family was at work -- about 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., five days a week. This was reportedly punishment for stealing about $2,000 from the family over a period of time. Mitchell and his wife, Dana, also barred the boy from participating in band anymore. After the conversation, Mitchell spanked him with a belt because the teen didn't clean up tin cans a little girl had gotten into, according to Rodriguez.She says those incidents made the teen feel like he had no voice and wasn't treated with respect.The shootingThe day of the shooting, Aug. 2, the family left for work as usual. The boy was kept outside of the house with a glass of water and a sandwich, along with a hose to refill his glass.The then-15-year-old broke into the house through a bedroom window and got a handgun. He stayed inside until Mitchell was about to come home, when he went back outside. When Mitchell arrived, the teen asked if he could come inside for a glass of water. Mitchell agreed.As Mitchell was walking out of the shower, the teen shot him. When he heard Mitchell gurgling, the boy shot him again "to put him out of his misery," he reportedly said.He then fled the home in Mitchell's car, a silver 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, and headed toward Waco. He stopped at a McDonald's along the way. Dana Mitchell found her husband dead when she arrived at the home around 6 p.m.Police were investigating at the home when an officer spotted the Jetta, which was driving by the scene, around 10 p.m. Officers gave chase, reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. Police lost sight of the car, and called off the pursuit.It wasn't until later in the evening that the teen was involved in an accident, and detained at the scene by an unidentified resident. According to testimony by the teen's attorney, Michael Magana, the boy was assaulted after the police pursuit and had a gun put to his head. Magana never clarified who assaulted the teen.Worrisome childhoodThe boy also had a worrisome childhood before he killed his stepfather, the attorney said.It was troubling for the teen to be forced outside all day with just a sandwich and water and no one to talk to, according to Magana.Beyond that, the teen's biological mother hadn't been in his life since he was 5, the attorney said.He'd been through several foster homes after Child Protective Services found that the young boy had been left home alone, and possibly suffered a drug overdose.The teen's adoptive father, Keith Stermer, said he had a good relationship with the boy, but that he needed help. Stermer pushed for long-term professional therapy for the boy.According to a GoFundMe set up for the family, Mitchell and his wife had a 2-year-old daughter and were expecting another child."He was not only a very loving husband and father but a brother as well," the page reads.  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us