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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Who receives blame for teen's rampage?

Sunday, December 23, 2001

This story is just too good to pass up. If you want to know what's in a name, just read on.

A judge has sentenced 17 year-old Montea Mitchell to 70 years in prison for stealing two cars at gunpoint and trying to steal a third. But that most certainly doesn't tell the story.

Mitchell, one of eight children born to a drug-addicted mother, was born Murder Mitchell because an uncle had just been killed prior to his birth. But social workers who took Mitchell and the other children from the home when abandoned by their mother, renamed him Montea. Alas, the name change had little impact.

Mitchell was known to law enforcement officials very early in life. A gang member and drug abuser, Mitchell was removed from school at age 13 for threats to teachers. In jail he collected 25 violations in just a year. In addition to the car thefts, Mitchell was facing other charges including robbery and armed criminal action, two counts of drug possession, kidnapping and robbery. All collected before age 17. The six felony charges for which he was sentenced were in addition to these charges.

While in jail earlier, Mitchell was charged with fighting, flooding his cell and spitting in a guard's face. By any measure, this kid needs a lifetime to reflect on his ample mistakes. Officials doubt it will help however. "He can't be controlled even in jail," one official testified.

Mitchell asked the judge for mercy. "My past caught me up and made my mind think I couldn't be nowhere else in life," he told the judge. It made no difference. The judge said, "I don't think you get it."

Well Murder Mitchell clearly doesn't "get it". Don't blame society because society did not fail this kid. Blame a mother of eight children who abandoned them for drugs. Blame those bleeding hearts who want to shift the responsibility to anyone but the criminal. Blame anyone but the ruthless menace who has plagued society for way too long.

Maybe 70 years behind bars will change Murder Mitchell. Probably not.



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