A Trinidad man has been formally sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1982 rape and murder of a Douglas County beauty queen.
DNA evidence led to the arrest and conviction of David Mitchell for the killing of Sheila Jo Harris.
Harris, 18, was the reigning Miss Douglas County when she was
strangled in her Carson City apartment, where Mitchell worked as a
He was a suspect from the start. Mitchell was arrested once before in the case, but was released when prosecutors determined there was not enough evidence to go forward to trial.
In 1999, a DNA comparison of semen found on Harris' body and clothing against blood and saliva taken from Mitchell came back as
He was arrested in August 2006 on the island of Trinidad and Tobago, where he worked as a night watchman for a government agency, and returned to Carson City to face a murder charge.
Mitchell, 61, was convicted by a jury in January and formally sentenced Monday by Carson District Judge Todd Russell.
"This has really been a case that has just haunted the entire northern Nevada and Carson City community and it's time that this matter finally be brought to justice," Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner said during the sentencing hearing.
"One thing I've never heard, and don't expect to hear, is any show of remorse or even conscience from the defendant for what he did.
"I wonder, when you're a person of this nature - a sociopath that rapes and murders a woman - do you even think of the consequences of what you've done to that victim or to the family?"
"I doubt Mr. Mitchell does," Gardner said.
"Certainly he doesn't seem to care about the impact that he's had."
Mitchell shook his head when asked by the judge if he wanted to say anything on his own behalf.
The judge rejected defense lawyer Diane Crow's request to consider possible parole after 10 years.
"Mr. Mitchell, as he sits here today, is not the same man as he was in the '70s and '80s," Crow said, noting he hadn't been in trouble in 25 years and owned his home in Haiti where he lived with his daughter and grandson.
"He understands that a life sentence is mandatory. He asks for
consideration for the change in the man that he is."