Howland man extradited on manslaughter charge

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A Howland Township man was extradited Monday to Texas to face charges that allege he crashed his car at high speeds last year while on opiates and marijuana, killing his passenger.

William P. Mitchell, 57, of Hoffman Circle and formerly of New Caney, Texas, waived extradition back to Montgomery County, Texas to face second-degree felony charges of intoxicated manslaughter, which carries a penalty of between two and 20 years imprisonment.

Mitchell was arrested by Howland police on Thursday at the request of the Texas State Highway Patrol. Officers pulled over his SUV inside an apartment complex on Reeves and Elm roads. Mitchell waived extradition Monday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

An affidavit for Mitchell’s arrest says he was speeding Aug. 23, 2012 on Farm-to-Market Road 1485 near Scott Gardener Road in New Caney. A witness who was driving behind Mitchell called 911 and said he was weaving across the road.

The witness told police Mitchell then drove off the side of the road and into a tree, killing Connie Mitchell, according to the affidavit.

Police investigators noted Connie Mitchell “clearly died due to the blunt force trauma caused by the crash,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit says Mitchell told crash investigators he was not driving at the time, but later admitted to driving when the car crashed. He was unable to answer why the car drove off the road, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says Mitchell “appeared to have slowed reflexes, slurred speech, droopy eyes and an all-around slow and lethargic appearance.”

Mitchell told a drug recognition expert that he took opiates, the affidavit says. Toxicology reports say Mitchell’s blood tested positive for the prescription drugs Soma, a muscle relaxer, Lorazepam, an anti-anxiety sleep aid, Meprobamate, a narcotic tranquilizer and marijuana.

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