Jakell Mitchell’s tragic death in 2014 may seem far away but, for those close to the Auburn program and in Mitchell’s family, his passing likely feels recent and close. To that end, news of his legal case coming to an end is highly newsworthy and, according to James Crepea of AL.com, that appears to be the case.
The report indicates that Markale Hart pleaded guilty to the crime of manslaughter in conjunction with Mitchell’s passing and details are as follows:
Per the terms of his plea, Hart will serve a 10-year split sentence with three years probation and the pending charges against him in Tallapoosa County, including a felony gun charge and DUI, will be dismissed. Should the charges in Tallapoosa County not be dismissed, Hart would be permitted to nullify his guilty plea in Lee County, which also ends his outstanding murder charge, which was to be retried later this month.
According to AL.com, Hart previously admitted to shooting Mitchell, though he claimed self-defense. At the end of the day, his attorney, Jerry Blevins, simply claimed that “the State made an offer Mr. Hart could not refuse” but, for Mitchell’s family, a bit of closure is likely desirable at this time and the family was reportedly consulted throughout the process.
38 months is a long time to navigate without legal finality, but it has arrived for Jakell Mitchell’s family and our hearts are with them.