Man changes pleas to guilty in corrections officer attack
By Joe Gorman
A man accused of attacking a corrections officer at the Mahoning County jail pleaded guilty Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a charge of attempted murder.
Lucky Mitchell, 33, entered his plea before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum.
The state will recommend nine years in prison when Mitchell is sentenced Wednesday. The sentence, however, is not agreed upon, and defense attorney Doug Taylor is expected to argue for less time.
Mitchell earlier had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but changed his plea Wednesday.
The plea comes after a second competency evaluation backed up an earlier evaluation that found Mitchell competent to stand trial and aid in his own defense.
Mitchell is accused of attacking the corrections officer July 8. Other inmates had to pry Mitchell off the corrections officer, who was being choked. The attack was captured on video.
At a hearing Oct. 5, Taylor disagreed with an earlier competency evaluation and asked for a second one, saying that he did not believe his client was sane or could aid in his own defense.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Yacovone told the judge Wednesday, however, that the second evaluation completed last month found that Mitchell is both sane and can assist in his own defense.
Mitchell was in the jail at the time of the attack after being arrested by Youngstown police June 25 on a weapons charge. Mitchell was out of his cell in the open day-area of the discipline pod, where he was housed, when he asked deputy Anthony Lucas for a roll of toilet paper. The deputy opened his office door to let in Mitchell.
Mitchell then entered Lucas’ work area and asked the deputy to find his next court date on a computer.
Mitchell pulled from the bottom of his shirt a torn white T-shirt tied in a circle and attempted to place it over the deputy’s throat and choke him, the sheriff’s report said.
The video begins showing Mitchell standing in the doorway waiting for a right moment to pounce on Lucas, who is off camera.
A 45-second struggle ensues between Mitchell and Lucas before inmates come and separate the two.