HAMPTON, S.C. (Nov. 29, 2017) – A Fairfax man who shot and pistol-whipped his burglary victim so severely that he later died of his injuries has been convicted of murder.
Maurice Demon Mitchell, 31, was also found guilty Wednesday first-degree burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and possession of crack cocaine. Mitchell assaulted 56-year-old Eddie James Mole at his Holly Street East apartment on Oct. 28, 2015. Mole died of his injuries in a Savannah hospital seven months later.
“To me, it is unconscionable how someone can shoot someone and then beat someone as bad as he did,” said 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, who prosecuted the case. “Mr. Mole suffered injuries from which he never recovered, at the hand of a man with a history of violence.”
A jury of six men and six women convicted Mitchell after two days of testimony from 17 state witnesses in Hampton County General Sessions. Circuit Court Judge Roger M. Young Sr. sentenced Mitchell to life without parole for both the murder and burglary charges. Mitchell also received five years for the gun charge and three for crack possession.
Stone led the case for his office’s Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most serious and habitual offenders. It has earned convictions against 42 of the 45 defendants it has tried in 2017.
Mitchell’s previous convictions include attempted robbery, discharging a firearm into a vehicle and failure to stop for a blue light. During the attempted robbery, which took place in Fairfax, Mitchell pistol-whipped a convenience-store employee who tried to thwart the theft.
Officers from the Hampton and Varnville police departments answered the disturbance call at Mole’s home after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor. The incident began in the parking lot as Mole arrived home from work and continued in Mole’s apartment, after Mitchell forced his way inside.
Mitchell beat Mole so severely that several of his teeth were found on the floor of his entryway and living room, and he was so disfigured that doctors who initially treated him believed he had been shot in the face. Mitchell did shoot Mole in his abdomen. Doctors determined that complications from that gunshot caused Mole’s death.
Mitchell, who was an acquaintance of Mole’s, fled on foot after the attack but was captured a short time later. Police found Mole’s cell phone and keys on Mitchell, who described the incident to investigators in an interview recorded on video. He also told authorities where he stashed the gun he used to shoot and beat Mole, and it law-enforcement officers found it in the woods near Mole’s home the day of the assault. Mitchell had blood on his hand, arms, shirt, jeans and shoes when he was arrested.