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Jury finds former Columbus officer Andrew Mitchell not guilty in 2018 death.

Jurors in the retrial of former Columbus vice squad officer Andrew Mitchell returned a not guilty verdict in the 2018 of 23-year old Donna Castelberry in just five hours.

Mitchell had been indicted on murder and involuntary manslaughter charges. A judge declared a mistrial when a jury deadlocked in 2022. The retrial began April 11th.

Mitchell was part of an undercover prostitution sting in 2018 when he picked up Castelberry on the west side. According to a recording from Mitchell's department issued cellphone, Castleberry was suspicious that Mitchell did not have his police badge or radio with him, although he did show her his police ID. The two scuffled in the car, and Mitchell said Castelberry slashed his hand with a knife. He said he was afraid for his life when he shot at Castelberry. She died a short time later at an area hospital.

Castelberry's family praised prosecutors efforts in the retrial, but called the verdict "a miscarriage of justice". During the trial jurors heard from Mitchell, as well as two "use of force" experts; one from the FBI and the other a former Akron police officer, who reached different conclusions on whether deadly force was reasonable.

Mitchell still faces federal charges for allegedly forcing women to have sex with him under the threat of an arrest, pressuring others to cover up crimes and lying to federal investigators. That trial is scheduled begin July 23.

In 2019 then police chief Thomas Quinlan disbanded the division's vice squad, moving investigations to another unit as many officers moved to on to other assignements. In 2021, Columbus City Council approved a settlement of more than $1 million with Castleberry's family.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.