Ronald Mitchell discovered responsible of killing ex-spouse in entrance of youngsters


It took a Jefferson Parish jury only 15 minutes Friday (Jan. 12) to convict Ronald Mitchell of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his ex-wife, Derice Bailey, according to the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office.

Mitchell, 39, was also convicted of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors Kellie Rish and Molly Massey accused Mitchell of coldly gunning down Bailey in the kitchen of the couple’s home in the 5700 block of Aero Street in Metairie on Dec. 2, 2016. Bailey died shielding her son and daughter, then 8 and 14, respectively, according to authorities.

Mitchell’s defense attorney, Jerome Matthews, said in opening statements that his client acted in self-defense to preserve his own life. But jurors rejected that argument.

Matthews did not present a defense after the prosecution rested its case on Friday, so Mitchell did not take the witness stand. But jurors heard him describe the shooting and the moments leading up to Bailey’s death in a videotaped interview with Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators.

Mitchell said he and Bailey were divorced but had been trying to reconcile for about three months before the shooting. However Mitchell suspected Bailey had been unfaithful, sparking a week’s worth of arguments that culminated in a confrontation that Bailey’s friends came over to help mediate, authorities said.

Mitchell exploded with rage when Bailey suggested the couple end things. He armed himself with a pistol, shoved her friends out of the residence and tried to get his son and daughter, to leave, as well, he told the detective.

Mitchell’s two children took the witness stand during the trial to testify about the shooting. In a videotaped interview played for the jury, Mitchell’s son said he and his sister begged their father to put down the gun.

“He shot her right in front of my face,” the boy said.

Afterwards, Mitchell said he laid the gun on a couch, walked outside and surrendered to authorities. Mitchell’s son lunged for the gun, intent on killing his father, he said. But deputies got to the weapon before he could shoot.

Mitchell now faces a mandatory maximum sentence of life in prison for the second-degree murder conviction. 



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