A Newberg man will spend the next 32 months in prison after being convicted of attempting to strangle his wife last fall.
Peter James Mitchell, 37, was arrested on Sept. 22, 2019, after the Newberg dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from an apartment in the 2300 block of East Second Street. The woman said she was being attacked by her husband and "remained on the phone while she defended herself, until police arrived," according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Newberg-Dundee Police Officer Scott Sudaisar.
The victim said she had been in a "domestic relationship" with her husband, who fled the scene when police arrived, since 2011 and the couple had two children, ages 7 and 6.
On the night of the attack, the woman told Sudaisar, Mitchell arrived home several hours late and appeared drunk.
"She said she told him to leave, because he becomes violent when he is drunk," the affidavit said. "She told me he got in her face and asked her what she was going to do, in a threatening manner. She told me Peter Mitchell got behind her, put his arm around neck … and pulled her to the floor.
"She said he was choking her and her 'lights were going out.' She said was able to squirm until she broke the choke hold. She turned to face him, as he was lying on his back, looking upward. She hit him in his head with the butt end of a kitchen knife, causing a laceration on his head, which bled."
Mitchell, the affidavit said, continued to come after the woman, so "she grabbed a frying pan and hit him on his head twice."
She attempted to flee the apartment, she told Sudaisar, but he grabbed her by her skirt and pulled it off. She escaped into the street just as the police arrived.
Mitchell was arrested later when he returned to the apartment, court records indicate, and was combative during the arrest process. He was transported to Providence Newberg Medical Center for treatment of the wounds inflicted by his wife, then taken to jail.
Mitchell was charged with multiple counts of strangulation (constituting domestic violence), fourth-degree assault and menacing. He was arrested and held at the Yamhill County jail pending arraignment and the filing of an indictment. He appeared before Yamhill County Judge Ladd Wiles on Jan. 7 and pled guilty to two counts of strangulation (constituting domestic violence) in exchange for having the assault and menacing charges dismissed. He must participate in a domestic violence program when he emerges from prison, court records indicated.
"I see no reason to depart from the presumptive sentence (15 to 16 months on each strangulation conviction)," the News-Register reported Wiles told Mitchell's attorney Mark Pihl when he asked for leniency for his client. "You engaged in serious felony conduct. And there is no good reason to continue your probation (on the unrelated case).
Wiles sentenced Mitchell to 32 months in prison and two years of post-prison supervision. Wiles also added six months of prison time after determining Mitchell had violated his probation on earlier convictions for DUII and aggravated harassment.
Those charges stem from a February 2017 incident where Mitchell was arrested for attacking NDPD Officer Kirby Brumfield during a stop on Highway 99W west of Newberg. Court records show he was stopped for apparent drunk driving, but refused to perform a field sobriety test and Brumfield attempted to arrest him. Mitchell refused to be handcuffed, the records stated, and in pulling away from the officer slammed his head into the police cruiser. After being transported to NDPD headquarters he continued to strike his head against the building and spit and kicked officers, court record show.
Stemming from that incident, Mitchell was charged with assaulting a police officer, aggravated harassment, DUII and resisting arrest. He was sentenced by Judge Cynthia Easterday to 14 months in prison and 24 months of post-prison supervision for assaulting Brumfield, as well as 30 days in jail and 36 months of probation for DUII and aggravated harassment.
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