Fifth man charged, pleads guilty in Surrey cold case

Four others still to be tried for beating death of David Mitchell (pictured here) in 2006.

David Mitchell was found severely beaten in Surrey in 2006 and died from his injuries. Five men have now been charged in the case and one pleaded guilty in December.

A fifth man has not only been charged, but subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced, in relation to an historic Surrey homicide.

David Mitchell, 25, died Oct. 25, 2006 after being found severely beaten in a home near 110 Avenue and Ravine Road in Surrey.

In November last year, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced it had arrested four men in connection to Mitchell’s death. Khalid Damien Arnaout, 35, was charged with second-degree murder, while three others – Charles Vincent Chambers, 34, Michael Ludwig Yost, 32, and Kevin Alexander Pigott, 32 – face charges of manslaughter and accessory after the fact.

Now, The Leader has learned that in early December, a fifth man, 46-year-old Gerald Dominic Desjarlais, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his involvement in Mitchell’s death.

He received a suspended sentence, three years probation and a 10-year firearms prohibition. (A suspended sentence means he will serve no jail time as long as he exhibits good behaviour while on probation).

As well, IHIT confirms that the four others accused in Mitchell’s death will skip preliminary hearings and be tried in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. A preliminary hearing is typically held to determine if there is sufficient evidence to go take a case to trial.

The trials of the four men will now proceed by way of direct indictment, which resulted in a stay of proceedings of their charges last week in Surrey Provincial Court.

At the time of the first four arrests, Mitchell’s family lamented his being taken from them “with so much of his light left in him.” They said he was a compassionate, talented writer who also struggled with drug addiction.

“We had always believed that he would overcome his addiction and would have gone on to help others, a desire that he often expressed to those closest to him,” said his family in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, we will never know what could have been.”





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