NC Dad Was Sleepwalking When He Suffocated His 4-year-old Son to Death

NC Dad Was Sleepwalking When He Suffocated His 4-year-old Son to Death

Devastating story: A defense attorney for a Durham man on trial for killing his 4-year-old son says the defendant doesn’t remember attacking the boy or his two other children.

Joseph Mitchell

In an opening statement Friday, lawyer Jay Ferguson said Joseph Mitchell was under a lot of stress and struggled to sleep in September 2010. He says Mitchell suffocated his son while walking in his sleep.

Mitchell’s other two children testified. They say they woke up to their father trying to cover their mouths and faces and had to fight him off.

Mitchell rejected a possible plea deal in 2013.

Prosecutors are trying him for first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

After attacking the children, he went into a home office and stabbed himself three times in the chest and slit his throat, and deputies had to break through the door to get to him, according to testimony. I know some sleepwalkers and sure enough they will do all kinds of weird stuff in their sleep from moving furiniture to cooking meals. I’m sure this father is a mess, how awful.

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