Republican Allyson Mitchell to Seek Re-Election as District Attorney
PALESTINE, OCTOBER 16, 2017 –Allyson Mitchell has announced her intention to seek re-election as the Criminal District Attorney for Anderson County after a successful and productive first term in office. On Mitchell’s watch over the past three years, the 500-case backlog that existed when she took office is gone. Intake of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases are reviewed in a swift manner, hardened criminals are getting lengthier sentences, and low-level criminals who need help are given the opportunity to change their lives and become productive members of the community.
“It has been my greatest privilege to go to work every day to help protect the people of Anderson County,” Mitchell said. “Being the Criminal District Attorney is not a job to me – it’s a calling. I promised to aggressively prosecute criminals, and my record shows that is exactly what I've done. The simple fact is, criminals are facing the justice they deserve, and we are a safer community because of it.”
Since Mitchell took over the helm of the D.A.’s office, repeat offenders, drug dealers, violent criminals, and child predators have pled to or received stern sentences from Anderson County juries. For example, earlier this year a jury gave Stephyn Prine the longest sentence in the county’s history for the criminal charge of Continuous Sexual Assault of Child, 99 years without the possibility of parole.
Mitchell said she believes that in certain circumstances, like that of Prine, strong sentences help act as a deterrent to other criminal elements in Anderson and surrounding counties. This opinion is shared by law enforcement as well. Sheriff Greg Taylor noted the decrease in reported crimes in 2016 was due to his “patrol staff and (sic) criminal investigations as well as firm prosecution and support from our Criminal District Attorney.” Then interim Palestine Police Chief John Herod echoed the same sentiments by explaining, “…great cooperation from our D.A.’s office and stern prosecution, has resulted in great strides being made for our city in the criminal justice process.”
Since the day she took office in 2015, Mitchell has cultivated a positive working relationship between the D.A.’s office and local law enforcement. This includes utilizing the D.A. asset forfeiture fund, comprised of money seized from local criminals, to purchase cameras for the Palestine Police Department, Frankston Police Department, and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. She also used those funds to send investigators and detectives from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Palestine Police Department to a homicide investigation conference, as well as to send deputies and officers from all three Anderson County law enforcement agencies to D.W.I. Intoxilyzer training to assist them in keeping drunk drivers off the road.
Victims’ rights have been a top priority for Mitchell. Today, she employs a Victims Coordinator and an Assistant Victims Coordinator who, along with the prosecuting attorney walk victims of any crime which can include sexual assaults, property crimes, and assaults through the judicial process. They meet with victims to discuss any question or concerns that they may have and to discuss any plea or trial decisions. Mitchell believes in using all tools available to help victims of crime, including in 2016 when she had a pet therapy dog accompany a child into the witness box when the child was asked to testify in a sexual abuse prosecution.
Mitchell concluded, “My job is to seek justice in all criminal cases and to follow the facts wherever they may lead. I’ve done my level-best to bring about positive changes in the D.A.’s office, and I am proud of what we accomplished. I will seek re-election next year on that record. Working together, we can continue to make Anderson County a safer place to live, work, and raise a family