Mitchell back in jail after skipping bail

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Theron Wayne Mitchell, 52, of Greenville, wanted for almost a year on 44 counts of theft by deception, returned to Butler County last week to stand trial.

Mitchell jumped bail earlier this year after a grand jury returned 44 counts of theft by deception.

District Attorney John Andrews said he plans to ask that Mitchell not receive bail due to being a flight risk.

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&uot;I’m going to oppose any bail,&uot; Andrews said Tuesday morning.

&uot;He jumped bail the last time.

This time he can stay in jail, however that is up to the judge.

But I would like to see him denied bail.&uot;

Andrews said he was glad Mitchell was caught and now he can face his charges.

&uot;I’m glad to have him back in Butler County where he is supposed to be,&uot; he said. &uot;Hopefully we’ll keep him here and he can stand trial.&uot;

Sheriff Diane Harris said Mitchell and his wife were captured by the Foley Police Department.

According to a FPD spokesman, officers apprehended Mitchell after he tried to pass a bad check at the Tanger Outlet Mall on Highway 59.

He said Mitchell ran from the police but was captured, and after checking found felony warrants out of Butler County.

He said they turned him over to the BCSO.

&uot;The E911 operator called me on Saturday and asked if we would extradite Mitchell back to Butler County from Foley,&uot; Harris said. &uot;I told her we were on our way to get him.&uot;

According to reports furnished by the BSCO, Mitchell was arrested Nov. 22, 2002 on one count of felony fraud and 11 counts of misdemeanor fraud.

A grand jury indicted him on Dec. 11, 2002.

Andrews said at that time Mitchell was indicted based on complaints filed by an area resident and evidence subsequently uncovered by the sheriff’s office.

His trial was set for Feb. 17, 2002, but he never showed.

The complaint against Mitchell states he asked for money from area churches and residents to pay for cancer treatments for his wife, Sarah, and to offset travel expenses to get medical care for her.

&uot;The felony charge is for $500 given to Mitchell by a church in Forest Home,&uot; Andrews said. &uot;There’s no telling how many other elderly people have given him money that we don’t know about.

Andrews said last December that Mitchell apparently used the scam to obtain funds with which he and his wife gambled in Biloxi, Miss.

Andrews said Mitchell’s trial would likely take place in March.

The felony fraud charge carries a penalty of 1 to 10 years in a state penitentiary. The misdemeanor counts each carry up to one year in the county jail.

If you have any information pertaining to this case or believe that you have given Mitchell money, please call the district attorney’s office or the sheriff’s department.