LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)— UPDATE: A court appearance Wednesday for Mitrel Anderson, who is charged with first degree intentional homicide with a deadly weapon, in the stabbing death of Demario Lee. Also in court with him, Brittany Jones, who police say helped Anderson flee after the murder.
According to a detective, Jones told police hours before the stabbing, Anderson called her from a bar downtown and said Lee had some kind of 'beef' with him, but she says she didn't know the two would meet up later that night. However they did, just after 3 AM at the Cass Street Kwik Trip.
At Wednesdays preliminary hearing, Detective Lt. Matt Malott of the La Crosse Police Department, testified. He reviewed surveillance footage from that night.
"3:11 AM I observed a white Cadillac pull in to a parking stall," Lt. Malott said.
In that car, Lt. Malott says, is Mitrel Anderson, his brother and two females, one identified as Brittany Jones. Anderson and his brother go inside Kwik Trip, while the women wait in the car. Shortly after that Demario Lee also enters the store.
"DeMario entered the bathroom, I could see Mitrel in the bathroom when the door opened and Mitrel was standing just off to the left of the door," Lt. Malott said.
Three other men entered the bathroom, including Anderson's brother and one man who arrived at Kwik Trip with Demario Lee. The other man appears to have arrived separately.
Exactly what happened behind that closed bathroom door is unknown. According to Lt. Malott the only altercation caught on tape is the fatal blow.
"As I saw Demario walk out, he was backing out, he had his face toward Mitrel, Oliver and DeShawn," Lt. Malott said. "I observed Mitrel swing his right arm and it appears he caught Demario somewhere right here the left side of Demario's head. Demario immediately fell backwards on to the floor and I could see some blood on the floor. And then I could see Mitrel inside the door and he was holding an object that was sticking out the bottom of his right hand, which appeared to be some sort of an edged weapon."
Detective Malott says Anderson and the other men leave shortly after. Anderson heads toward an ally, where Brittany Jones picks him up in that white Cadillac. Jones told police Anderson said he'd been attacked.
"Mitrel made the comment that he got jumped, that a dude punched him and a short dude kicked him. He also made the comment, 'I hurt Demario,'" said Detective Sgt. Dan Kloss.
Anderson and Jones drive to their La Crosse apartment.
"She indicated that Mr. Anderson was upset at the residence and was crying," Sgt. Kloss said. "He indicated that he would have to turn himself in because, in his words, he *expletive* his best friend."
But then, according to statements Jones made to police, Anderson received a text that Demario Lee died.
"Ms. Jones then told Mitrel, let's get the *expletive* out of here," Sgt. Kloss said. "She indicated that she wanted to spend as much time as she could with Mitrel because she knew that he was going to be going away for a while and stated that they should go to Madison immediately."
Using cell phone records, police tracked Anderson and Jones to an apartment in Madison, where they were arrested.
Jones is charged with harboring or aiding a felon and bail jumping.
Both Anderson and Jones stood mute when asked for pleas, so the judge entered no guilty pleas on their behalf. The two defendants will be tried separately.
Mitrel Anderson, he man accused in the stabbing death of DeMario Lee, is headed to trial.
Lee died as the result of a stab wound he sustained outside a bathroom at the Cass Street Kwik Trip just after 3 AM on June 2.
At a preliminary hearing, Detective Lt. Matt Malott testified about surveillance footage from Kwik Trip, which he says shows Anderson strike Lee on the left side of his head with some sort of edged weapon. Malott says Lee then falls to the ground immediately.
Police say after the incident, Mitrel Anderson and Brittany Jones fled to Madison, where they were arrested. Jones is charged with harboring or aiding a felon.
A judge found probable cause to move forward with trial for both Anderson and Jones. Both stood mute so the judge entered not guilty pleas for them.
We'll have more details coming up in our 5, 6 and 10 PM reports.