River Parishes bureau
October 02, 2012
DONALDSONVILLE — A couple was arrested Monday after a domestic dispute led to the shooting of their 8-year-old daughter, an Ascension Parish sheriff’s official said.
Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said Jennifer Duncan Mitchell, 31, and Henry Mitchell Sr., 46, both of 127 Evangeline St., Donaldsonville, were arrested when deputies uncovered a discrepancy in their stories related to how their 8-year-old daughter was wounded.
Deputies initially were dispatched to Prevost Memorial Hospital in Donaldsonville shortly after midnight Sept. 30 to investigate an accidental shooting.
Jennifer Mitchell told authorities her 8-year-old daughter had taken a .38-caliber handgun from a nightstand and accidentally fired it, Bacala said.
The girl’s chest was grazed by the bullet, and she was treated and released from the hospital.
While investigating the incident, deputies discovered Jennifer Mitchell made false statements to authorities and fabricated the story about her daughter finding the handgun, Bacala said.
Instead, deputies now say the Mitchells had a heated argument during which Jennifer Mitchell armed herself with the handgun and accidentally fired it. The bullet penetrated Henry Mitchell’s leg and exited, striking the child, Bacala said.
Jennifer Mitchell was booked on counts of aggravated battery, negligent injury, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and criminal mischief for allegedly filing a false police report.
Henry Mitchell was booked on counts of simple assault, accessory after the fact to negligent injury, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and obstruction of justice.
The Mitchells remain in the custody of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office with no bail set, Bacala said. Their three children, including the 8-year-old who was wounded, were taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, but were expected to be released into the custody of their grandmother, he said.