Facebook Twitter

JUDGE SCHEDULES RETRIAL DEC. 7 IN 1984 SLAYING OF AN AIRLINE PILOT IN PARK CITY

SHARE JUDGE SCHEDULES RETRIAL DEC. 7 IN 1984 SLAYING OF AN AIRLINE PILOT IN PARK CITY

Third District Judge Timothy Hansen has set Dec. 7 for the retrial of Francis Preston Mitchell, convicted in the 1984 Park City slaying of an airline pilot.

Mitchell won a new trial in the slaying of Fred Duncan when the Utah Supreme Court overturned Mitchell's 1986 conviction because hypnosis was used on a witness.Mitchell appeared before Hansen for the third time in a week to set the trial date and to confirm that Ken Brown would be his attorney.

Mitchell was moved from Coalville to the Salt Lake County Jail at the request of Summit County Sheriff Fred Eley.

Deputy Summit County Attorney Terry Christiansen said that during a lockdown of prisoners, Mitchell was discovered with a drill bit and homemade knife.

Mitchell told the court the objects were hobby tools for carving. He said the items had been approved at the New Mexico penitentiary, where he had been transferred several years earlier for security reasons, and came with him when he was returned to Utah Oct. 13.

"I'm not going to walk around the jail with a weapon," Mitchell said. "That would be absurd. I didn't sneak this in, and I haven't had any visitors. I don't know how they think I got this, unless I had Scottie beam it down from the Enterprise."

Last year, Mitchell failed in an attempted helicopter escape from prison in New Mexico.

Brown told the court he would be representing Mitchell and had reached an agreement with Mitchell's family. Mitchell had told the court he wasn't certain he would be able to afford an attorney.

"I went through the first trial. That was nearly $100,000. Appeal was $30,000. I have a court case in New Mexico that cost me $25,000, which is still pending," he said.