Second of Three Murder Suspects Convicted in 90-Year-Old’s Death

Second of Three Murder Suspects Convicted in 90-Year-Old’s Death

SAN BERNARDINO – While jury deliberations were continuing for a third accused attacker, a San Bernardino man was convicted Friday of murdering a 90-year-old woman in 2005.

Michael Mitchell, Jr., 29, will be sentenced on May 2 after a Superior Court jury convicted him in the killing of Josephine Frances Kelley in her North Muscupiabe Dr. residence. Three suspects were arrested in 2013, including Mitchell, along with Kiesha Renee Smith, 29, and Sherry Ann Beck, 32.

Beck pleaded guilty in December 2013 to voluntary manslaughter, causing great bodily injury to an elderly person, robbery and grand theft. She will be sentenced this week, according to a release. Jurors were still underway for Smith, who is charged with murder.

It was a tip to police that linked investigators to the trio, which was considered a burglary crew. When Kelley was discovered by her daughter on Sept. 5, 2005, she had been found assaulted, having been smothered to death in her ransacked home in which jewelry, electronics and other personal property had been stolen. The crime had been determined as a home invasion robbery by police.

Less than 24 hours after the discovery of her body, Kelley’s 25-year-old grandson, Derrick Mitchell Hassett, was arrested. It was Hassett’s mother, Susan, who had discovered the body at about 4 p.m. on Sept. 5, 2005. Hassett, whose link to the slaying was not disclosed, was eventually released.

Kelley lived at the home with relatives for about four years, said investigators. San Bernardino police have had other home invasion attacks, including some murders, occur against elderly people in recent years. The Kelley case was considered cold until a tip alerted investigators to the suspects.

Read More:

SacBee: Man convicted of killing 90-year-old woman in 2005

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Second of Three Murder Suspects Convicted in 90-Year-Old’s Death was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: San Bernardino

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Lee Brown

Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at