Warren man sent to Texas to face charge

WARREN – A former Warren man waived extradition Monday and agreed to travel back to Texas to face manslaughter charges in the death of his wife a year ago when the couple’s car crashed into a tree.

William Pete Mitchell, 57, told Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos and assistant county prosecutor Chris Becker that he wouldn’t fight extradition.

Mitchell reportedly had been in the Warren area, possibly recovering from his own injuries, since shortly after the car crash on Aug. 23, 2012, in Montgomery County, Texas, near Houston.

An assistant district attorney in Texas filed a formal charge of intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, that was firmed up May 10. Mitchell was picked up locally earlier this month. Texas law calls for a penalty between two and 20 years on the felony.

Charges against Mitchell, who grew up in the Warren area before moving to Texas to work in the oil industry, accuse him of driving while impaired.

An affidavit says that Mitchell’s wife, Connie, was killed instantly due to blunt force trauma when the couple’s vehicle hit the tree after veering off the road for no apparent reason at a high rate of speed.

Investigators said Mitchell first denied being the driver of the vehicle, but later admitted that he was behind the wheel during the crash. The investigator said Mitchell’s reflexes were slow, his speech slurred with ”droopy” eyes and all around slow, lethargic appearance.

Mitchell admitted to taking opiates and forensic blood tests revealed he had Soma, Lorazapam and Meprobamate in his system.

A witness following close behind Mitchell’s car told police he saw the defendant ”weaving all over the road for no apparent reason” and almost cause several other crashes.

The witness was already on the phone to 911 when the crash occurred.