Just a week after he took the stand in his own defense and told a crazy story no one had heard before about two men whom he had to fight off to save his baby daughter, James Mitchell was convicted yesterday of kidnapping his daughter and murdering his estranged girlfriend and baby mama, Danielle Keller. The heir to the Mitchell Brothers porn business faces 34 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on August 16.
The jury deliberated for two days and came back with guilty verdicts on all counts except the special count committing a murder during a kidnapping. Danielle Keller was found clubbed to death with a metal baseball bat in her Novato yard in July 2009 on the day of her daughter's first birthday. Mitchell had appeared at her house despite there being a restraining order against him, and horrified neighbors saw him beating Keller with the bat. He was later apprehended in Citrus Heights, baby in tow, when he ran out of gas.