A Glen Ellyn man accused of severely beating his father testified Wednesday that only he landed blows in the altercation, but he remained steadfast that he acted in self-defense.
Charles E. Mitchell, 27, was the final witness in his DuPage County trial for the attempted murder of his father, John Mitchell, 61. The case is expected to go to jurors Thursday after closing arguments.
Mitchell is accused of injuring his father in the early morning hours of June 14, 2016, at a Glen Ellyn hotel in the 600 block of Roosevelt Road where they resided, along with Joseph Mitchell, the defendant’s brother.
Acting as his own attorney, Charles Mitchell took the witness stand and gave a narrative of the incident, recounting the argument over a cellphone between him and his brother.
John Mitchell was awakened by his sons’ arguing, and Charles Mitchell said his angry father was trying to force him out of the hotel room. Joseph Mitchell testified Tuesday that had left the room to call police, and Charles said he and his father "started to get into it."
"Dad looked like he was going to hit me. Instead, I hit him first in self-defense," Charles Mitchell told jurors.
Mitchell said he struck his father two or three times in the face and kicked him in the head and chest after the father fell to the floor.
Prosecutors and Mitchell sparred over why he had not alerted police to his father’s condition when officers came to the hotel to arrest him on a complaint filed by Joseph Mitchell. Joseph found his father in the room about 40 minutes after the alleged beating.
Officers said Tuesday they didn’t see the father on the floor in the darkened room as they arrested Charles. Mitchell said Wednesday that in hindsight he should have alerted officers that his father needed medical attention, but "couldn’t get a word in edgewise" during his arrest for the incident with his brother.
John Mitchell suffered a broken jaw and brain bleeding, and told jurors this week that he is living in a rehab facility.
Clifford Ward is a freelance reporter.
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