Mom may testify against son accused of beating grandmother

Gloria Gomez reports

- You know it's bad when even your own mother says, "I don't care now what happens to him."  But that's what Mary Weigand said about her son, James Mitchell.

Mitchell is a known drug user who has been in and out of trouble.  But this time, he's facing serious jail time.  He's accused of beating his 93-year-old grandmother, leaving her for dead, then stealing her car.

"The allegations are very serious, judge," Hillsborough prosecutor Elizabeth Melinda Muller said in court Monday.  "The grandmother was essentially comatose when law enforcement arrived at her home."

Doctors found she had cracked ribs, a brain injury, and a broken nose.  Muller says the victim also suffers from dementia and may not be able to tell the jury what her grandson did to her.

"She's not in the position to leave her home, which obviously would present problems on the case," Muller continued.  "However we believe the evidence is sufficient to proceed without the victim."

The Hillsborough Public Defender's Office is asking for a year in jail.  Prosecutors say no way -- they're talking 15 or more years.

If they don't agree on a deal, the case is headed for trial next week.

Some key witnesses against him could include his own mother, who did not hold back her feelings when the crime happened.

"He just stole my heart," Weigand said.  "He stole my heart right out of me.  I don't ever want to see him again."

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