The murder trial of Johnathan Mitchell, who is accused of slaying a Cedar Rapids cab driver in 2011, continues 9 a.m. today. The defense may start Thursday.
Mitchell, 35, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He is accused of killing Cathy Stickley, 55, a Century Cab driver, April 29, 2011. According to testimony, Stickley’s body was found by her vehicle in the 1500 block alley between 2nd and 3rd avenues SE. Stickley died from 12 stab wounds to her neck and head.
The trial, moved from Linn County to Story County District Court last year based on pretrial publicity, is expected to wrap up Friday. Follow Gazette Reporter Trish Mehaffey’s live coverage from the courtroom.
Mitchell’s attorney in an opening statement said Mitchell was there that night but he didn’t kill Stickley. The defense accused Stickley of drug-related activity that night which would give someone else a motive for murder.
Dawn Stickley, Cathy Stickley’s daughter, testifed Monday her mother was an honest person, and she wasn’t using or selling drugs.
Mitchell’s first trial started more than a year ago, last August, but ended in mistrial during jury selection because the prosecutor had a serious medical condition and couldn’t continue the trial. There were several continuances before that and a few after the mistrial.
Mitchell also is charged in a separate case from 2010 with beating a man near Coe College. He is charged with willful injury, causing bodily injury, and was out on bond in that case during the time Stickley was killed. He has remained under a $1 million bond after the murder charge.