General Crime

* Danielle Keller alleged murder James Raphael Mitchell verdict reached

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UPDATE : A Marin County jury this afternoon convicted James Raphael Mitchell of first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend Danielle Keller and kidnapping the couple’s one-year-old daughter at her Novato home two years ago. The jury reached the verdict after deliberating two days in Marin County Superior Court. Deputy District Attorney Charles Cacciatore said the jury did not convict Mitchell of the special circumstance of murder during a kidnapping. Mitchell, 29, faces 34 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 16, Cacciatore said.

A verdict has been reached at the murder and kidnapping trial of James Raphael Mitchell in Marin County Superior Court. Deputy District Attorney Charles Cacciatore said Judge Kelly Simmons’ court clerk informed him around 4 p.m. that a verdict had been reached. Mitchell, 29, an heir to the Mitchell family pornography business, is charged with killing his ex-girlfriend Danielle Keller, 29, by repeatedly hitting her head with a softball bat at her Diablo Court home in Novato and kidnapping their daughter on the toddler’s first birthday on July 12, 2009.

He also is charged with stalking, murder during a kidnapping and domestic violence. Mitchell testified he fought off two men who actually killed Keller and tried to take their daughter from the residence as he arrived to celebrate the girl’s birthday. The prosecution claimed the slaying was the culmination of a series of domestic violence incidents committed by Mitchell against Keller.

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