ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Maplewood man accused of violently stabbing his teenaged girlfriend to death has waived his right to an adult certification hearing, choosing instead to plead guilty to second degree murder.
Anthony Joseph Mitchell offered his plea in Ramsey County Court Friday morning in connection with the February death of 16-year-old Anna Hurd. He was automatically certified as an adult after waiving his right to a certification hearing, and after a brief recess Mitchell pled guilty to one count of intentional murder in the second degree.
"This this is a tragic end to a promising young life," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi following the plea. "We are pleased that the defendant pled guilty as charged to Second Degree Intentional Murder."
Police responded to a Maplewood park just before 4:40 a.m. on February 23, 2013, after a call from Mitchell's mother. She told them about a girl found beaten and unresponsive on a nearby trail. After they arrived, Mitchell himself led investigators to a spot in Hillside Park in Maplewood where Hurd was lying approximately 15 feet from the path.
First responders determined she was dead at the scene.
A report by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office listed the cause of death as homicide due to multiple stab wounds.
Investigators were told that Mitchell had gone for a walk earlier that evening with Hurd, his girlfriend, but returned home alone around 2 a.m. and told his mother that Hurd had instead walked to a friend's house.
Mitchell told police that he later went looking for her, returning a short time later in hysterics with blood on his hands, yelling for his mother to call 911.
But investigators soon learned that the defendant was also seen at a party the night before playing with a knife. A witness told police that Hurd had planned on ending the relationship between herself and the defendant and traveling to Texas alone. The witness said that Mitchell was "clingy" in his relationship with Hurd, and had threatened to commit suicide when she previously attempted to break up with him.
It is expected that Mitchell will be sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for his role in Hurd's death.
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