Maplewood teen charged in girlfriend's slaying

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2013 - 1:18 PM

Anna Hurd and boyfriend Anthony J. Mitchell were allegedly fighting over a trip. Prosecutors intend to try Mitchell, 17, as an adult.

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Anna Hurd, 16

 

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed second-degree murder charges against Anthony J. Mitchell, the 17-year-old boyfriend of slain teen Anna Hurd, who was found stabbed to death on a Maplewood walking trail.

Hurd’s body was found Feb. 23 in Hillside Park, near McKnight Road and Ripley Avenue in Maplewood, about five blocks from her home.

Mitchell lived nearby.

“I thought it was him, but I didn’t want to believe it because Anna loved him, trusted him,” said her mother, Jennifer Hutchings of Vernon, Texas.

Hurd, 16, had a ticket and was supposed to hop a bus later that day to Wichita Falls, Texas. After living with her father for nearly a year, she was moving back home to live with her mother and two sisters, Hutchings said.

Hurd and Mitchell had been arguing for days about the trip, which he initially planned to take with her. They wanted to drive straight through, but a snowstorm kept them from leaving that Friday, Hutchings said.

Mitchell’s mother bought a bus ticket for Hurd but not for him, Hutchings said.

Mitchell, arrested without incident at his mother’s home in the 1700 block of McKnight Road about noon Friday, is being held at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center. Prosecutors are seeking to have him certified to stand trial as an adult. Mitchell is to appear Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.

A juvenile petition alleges intentional second-degree murder and unintentional second-degree murder.

The charges allege that Mitchell’s mother called 911 at 4:29 a.m. and said that her son’s girlfriend was found beaten on a trail and that she wasn’t breathing.

Police arrived and Mitchell led them to a spot in Hillside Park about 15 feet from the path.

A preliminary autopsy found Hurd died of multiple stab wounds.

“This tragic case brings so much pain to the victim’s family as well as the community at large,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “Our hearts go out to those who survive her.”

Investigators found that Mitchell and Hurd had gone for a walk between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. He returned alone, telling his mother that Hurd walked to a friend’s house. He went upstairs to the bathroom, where police later found evidence of Hurd’s blood.

About 4 a.m., Mitchell left home, saying he was going to look for Hurd because he hadn’t heard from her. He returned home “hysterical” with blood on his hands, the court papers say.

He told his mother to call 911 and later gave differing accounts of how he found Hurd’s body. At one point, he said a man was standing over Hurd’s belongings on the path and that Mitchell chased him away.

Investigators spoke with a witness who said that late on Feb. 22, a Friday, Hurd confided that she was planning to end her relationship with Mitchell and go to Texas the next day without him.

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