Mitrel Anderson not guilty in homicide trial - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Mitrel Anderson not guilty in homicide trial

Posted: Updated:
Family and friends of Mitrel Anderson await his release at the La Crosse County Jail Thursday night after Anderson was found not guilty in the stabbing death of Demario Lee in 2013. Family and friends of Mitrel Anderson await his release at the La Crosse County Jail Thursday night after Anderson was found not guilty in the stabbing death of Demario Lee in 2013.
Mitrel Anderson hugging family and friends after his acquittal in his homicide trial. Mitrel Anderson hugging family and friends after his acquittal in his homicide trial.
Jurors have found Mitrel Anderson not guilty in the homicide trial of Demario Lee.  

Audible cries of emotion were heard as the verdict was announced from both the victim's and defendant's side of the courtroom.

Anderson himself broke down as the trial ended after more than a week and he became a free man.

Defense attorneys argued during the trial that while Anderson fatally stabbed Lee in the bathroom of the Cass Street Kwik Trip on June 2, 2013, he did so in self- defense. 

Members of Anderson's family and his friends cried as they hugged Anderson upon his release from the La Crosse County Jail following the verdict. 

While Anderson's family was openly happy about the verdict, one of his family members told News19 off camera that "no-body won in this case."

DeMario Lee's family also declined to speak on camera but Lee's grandfather told News19 off camera, "There's not much to say. I don't know what the jury has been listening to."

Mitrel Anderson said after being released, "The justice system really works."

We will have reaction to the verdict as it becomes available here on WXOW.com and on the 10pm Report.

---------------------------------------------------
BREAKING: Jurors have reached a verdict in the homicide trial of Mitrel Anderson. According to our news crew at the La Crosse County Courthouse, the decision will be announced at 7:30 p.m.

After roughly seven hours of deliberation, jurors told Judge Elliot Levine that they had reached a decision. They began deliberations around 12:30 p.m. 

We'll have an immediate update as soon as the verdict is announced.


-------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE: Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday morning in the Mitrel Anderson homicide trial.  Anderson is accused of stabbing a La Crosse man at the Cass Street Kwik Trip in June 2013.

The jury started deliberating around 12:30 p.m.

WXOW and WXOW.com will have updates throughout the day as we wait for the verdict.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The prosecution made its closing arguments Thursday in the La Crosse homicide trial. Judge Elliot Levine instructed the jury that if they are to find Mitrel Anderson guilty of 1st degree intentional homicide they must find him guilty of three elements.

1) Causing the death of DeMario Lee.

2) That he acted with intent to kill.

3) He did not reasonably believe force used was necessary.

The jury could find him guilty of lesser charges such as 2nd degree intentional homicide, 1st degree reckless homicide, or 2nd degree reckless homicide.

Michelle Keller, prosecuting attorney, said in closing arguments, "The defendant lied about every important detail in this case."

She added, "When you're getting roughed up in a bathroom you have no justification for stabbing someone in the head, none."

Defense attorney Elizabeth Wright brought up Lee's violent past and direct threats he had made to Anderson. "Do you not think he [DeMario Lee] would overpower you, finish you off?" Wright asked jurors.

"You don't have to wait until you're nearly dead if you believe your life is in danger," Wright said. In asking the jury to remember the self defense case, Wright reminded jurors that three men followed Anderson into the bathroom, that Anderson was attacked, and that DeMario Lee told another man to guard the bathroom door.

Once they finish, the jury will receive their instructions from presiding Judge Elliot Levine, then begin their deliberations.

WXOW and WXOW.com will have updates throughout the day as the closing arguments and deliberations unfold.


---------------------------------------------------------

The defense continues its case Wednesday in the homicide trial for a La Crosse man charged with killing another man inside an area convenience store 18 months ago. Mitrel Anderson, 27, claims he acted in self defense when he stabbed 24-year-old DeMario Lee in the Cass Street Kwik Trip bathroom.

The defense continued to make their case, calling Mitrel's brother, DeSean, to the stand.

DeSean Anderson was inside the bathroom with another man at the time his brother stabbed Lee.

DeSean recounted what he saw and felt at the time of the stabbing. "Did you eventually get to see his [Mitrel's] face when you were in there?" asked Defense Attorney Elizabeth Wright. "Yes," answered DeSean.

"How did he [Mitrel] look?" Wright asked. "He looked scared and terrified," said DeSean.

DeSean described seeing Mitrel after the stabbing. "Mitrel was sad, he wouldn't stop crying he couldn't get himself together. He was so emotional he said that he didn't want to hurt DeMario. And that he he hoped DeMario was okay."

The jury should have a verdict by the end of the week.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Emotional testimony Tuesday from Mitrel Anderson, the man charged with killing another man inside a La Crosse convenience store 18 months ago.Anderson claims he acted in self defense. It was June 2nd of 2013 when 24-year-old Demario Lee was stabbed to death inside the bathroom of the Kwik Trip on Cass Street.

For the past five days the prosecution made its case, Tuesday the defense took its turn.

Mitrel Anderson himself told jurors what he saw and how he felt inside that bathroom.

"I swung a knife at DeMario. I didn't want to kill him. I just wanted to get out of that bathroom," said Anderson.

Anderson said earlier that night, DeMario Lee confronted him outside of a bar downtown. Anderson testified that Lee told him that he was lucky there were people around them.

Later that night, Anderson went to Kwik Trip to meet up with other people to head to a party. That's when, Anderson said, Lee followed him into the bathroom and started a fight.

He said Lee punched him in the mouth and pinned him to the ground. "I thought I was going to die," said Anderson.


On cross examination the prosecution questioned Anderson about his deadly force.

"So you knew at the moment you swung the knife that you were practically certain to kill him with it right?", asked Assistant Attorney General David Maas.

Anderson said after he stabbed Lee he didn't know the extent of Lee's injuries. "But as soon as you stabbed him in the head you put the knife away right?", questioned Maas. Anderson answered, "yes."

The prosecution suggested that Lee no longer posed a threat. Anderson said he doesn't regret defending himself against Lee, a man he knew since middle school.

"At the time he was like my brother, and I trusted DeMario and I loved him."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: Mitrel Anderson is testifying in his own defense Tuesday afternoon in his homicide trial.

Anderson is accused of fatally stabbing DeMario Lee at the Cass Street Kwik Trip store in La Crosse on June 2, 2013.

In emotional testimony, Anderson testified about the events leading up to the stabbing in the bathroom of the Kwik Trip that night. He stated that as the confrontation with Lee unfolded, " I just wanted to get out of that bathroom. I didn't want to die."

That confrontation led Anderson to stab Lee in the head with a knife.  Later in his testimony, Anderson said, "No, I don't regret defending myself."

As for leaving the store following the stabbing, Anderson said he was in shock after the incident. He again stated to the jury what he told authorities when he was arrested the next day in Madison. "I just wanted to see my family and turn myself in." He's remained in custody ever since his arrest.

The trial is expected to conclude by the end of the week.



Prior to the start of the testimony, Anderson replied to Judge Elliot Levine that he wanted to testify about the events surrounding the incident.We'll have updates on this developing story as more becomes available.
----------------------------------

UPDATE: The man accused of fatally stabbing a La Crosse man in 2013 may take the stand this afternoon.

There was only brief testimony by several witnesses Tuesday morning during the trial of Mitrel Anderson.  He's on trial on First Degree Intentional Homicide charges in the stabbing of DeMario Lee at the Cass Street Kwik Trip on June 2, 2013.

Following the testimony, there was a extended break for jurors as Anderson's defense team prepared to present their side of the case.  In opening arguments last week, they acknowledged that Anderson stabbed Lee, but did so out of self-defense.

We'll have updates here on WXOW.com and on Live at Five, the 6pm, and 10pm Reports.
------------------
Testimony heard from one expert witness on Monday refutes the claim made by the only eyewitness in the stabbing death of DeMario Lee.

Dane County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent Tranchida said he recorded no injuries to Lee's face during his autopsy, contradicting Oliver Odulana, the eyewitness in the case who testified Friday he saw Anderson punch Lee in the face twice.

Dr. Tranchida said he noticed small cuts on Lee's hands, as well as bruises on his right knee.

Additionally the fatal wound near Lee's left ear measured three and a half inches deep and was most likely caused by a weapon with both a sharp and blunt side, such as a single edged knife.

"The sharp object severed an artery, and went completely through the temporal lobe of Mr. Lee's brain," Dr. Tranchida said.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The officer who arrested a La Crosse man wanted for homicide told jurors Monday morning that the suspect said he wanted to see his family before surrendering to authorities.

Scott Lack of the Wisconsin Department of Justice was the first to testify as the trial of Mitrel Anderson resumed in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Anderson was arrested in Madison the day after the fatal stabbing of DeMario Lee at the Cass St. Kwik Trip on June 2, 2013. He had fled the store after the stabbing and gone to Madison with his girlfriend Brittany Jones.

Lack testified that Anderson said, "I just wanted to see my family again, then I was going to turn myself in," after the arrest.

Next to testify was Dr. Vincent Tranchida who performed the autopsy of DeMario Lee. Among the items that Dr. Tranchida said was that the fatal wound to Lee's head appeared to be inflicted by a single edged knife.

Dr. Tranchida also said that Lee had a THC in his system and that Lee's blood alcohol level was .128 at the time of his death.

Anderson's trial is expected to last the remainder of the week.

WXOW's Caroline Hecker is covering the trial and will have updates here on WXOW.com and on Live at Five, the 6pm and 10pm Reports.

Powered by Frankly