JONESBORO – A Jonesboro woman whose 2017 first-degree murder conviction was reversed by the Arkansas Supreme Court earlier this year, pleaded guilty to the charge Friday, Craighead County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Grant DeProw said.
Special Circuit Judge David Laser sentenced Tonisha Mitchell to 35 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Mitchell, 25, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder charge and an additional charge of robbery. Mitchell was scheduled to be retried in Craighead County Circuit Court on Aug. 26.
Mitchell was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on June 23, 2017, for the May 25, 2015, fatal shooting of Nelson McCullough in his West Monroe Street home in Jonesboro. However, Mitchell appealed and the state Supreme Court reversed the conviction in March, ruling that her right to a public trial was violated when Circuit Judge Laser allowed a request to close the courtroom during one of Mitchell’s relative’s testimony.
“We are satisfied with the plea,” DeProw said Friday. “This spares the family the agony of a retrial and it gives justice for the victim. This gives Miss Mitchell an opportunity to live part of her life as a responsible citizen.”