BROTHERS CONVICTED IN SERIES OF CRIMES.
Two brothers were convicted Wednesday of charges that they robbed and terrorized patients and employees in a doctor's office and shot at a police officer and security guard during a three-hour rampage in Van Nuys.
Lamonti Mitchell, 23, and Michael Mitchell, 31, each were found guilty by a jury of 13 charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking and robbery.
The pair, both of South Central Los Angeles, now face a possible sentence of life in prison, said prosecutor Larry Morrison. They are scheduled to be sentenced later this month. Both have prior felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, according to court records.
Jurors deliberated a little more than a day before rendering a verdict. They heard two weeks of dramatic testimony about how in June 1995 the men pistol-whipped a doctor, beat a female physical therapist and threatened to kill a child wrapped in his mother's arms. Witnesses said the men robbed the office of several hundred dollars and jewelry from patients.
The men then led police and a private security guard on a chase through businesses and the community, which ended in a hail of gunfire, according to witnesses. Security guard Byron Reyes was wounded during the gunfight.
Lamonti Mitchell shook his head as each guilty verdict was read. When it came time to be handcuffed, Mitchell refused to cooperate, but the bailiffs quickly surrounded him and forced on the cuffs.
Michael Mitchell conceded his involvement in the crime spree but denied charges that he tried to kill Los Angeles police Officer Charles Wright.
Jurors apparently bought the argument and acquitted the brothers of attempted murder, convicting them of assault with a deadly weapon instead.
Earlier, a third defendant, Charles Knight Jr., pleaded guilty to attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and carjacking. He agreed to a 15-year prison term.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jun 5, 1997|
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