Man who fled police before a deadly Emporia crash will have jury trial

Local News

EMPORIA (KSNT) – Devawn Mitchell, 23, the man police believe is responsible for the death of an Emporia man after fleeing from law enforcement appeared in court and agreed to a jury trial, which is set to begin Jan. 24. There will be a final pretrial on January 19 at 4:00 pm.  

Mitchell appeared in front of Lyon County District Court Judge W Lee Fowler.

Mitchell had inquired about a bench trial.

Judge Fowler did not find Mitchell competent, however, and Mitchell withdrew his request to seek the mental health defect offense.

Mitchell is accused of first-degree felony murder, aggravated assault on law enforcement, and three counts of felony flee and elude. 

Emporia police said Mitchell led them on a chase through Emporia that ultimately ended when he crashed into Steven A. Henry’s truck. The crash killed Henry.

KSNT News obtained the affidavit in the Lyon County District Court case, where an Emporia Police Department detective shared the agency’s report on its deadly chase with Mitchell. EPD had ten officers involved in the chase that served as witnesses in the report.

(KSNT Photo/Michael Dakota)

The Kansas Department of Corrections reports Mitchell was convicted in 2019 of aggravated assault and aggravated burglary with an intent to commit a felony. A judge sentenced him to prison on May 5, 2020.

Mitchell was listed on parole with Intensive Supervision Level II in the KASPER Offender Registry. He served a prison sentence in El Dorado for his 2019 conviction before moving to community supervision on March 17, 2021.

The man who was killed in the collision was Steve Henry, 64. He was a local athlete, coach, former NFL football player and also inducted into the ESU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989.

Henry died when the pickup truck he was in was rear-ended by Devawn Mitchell, 23, sending his truck into a utility pole. Henry’s truck sheared the pole in half, leaving it in pieces on 6th Avenue.

(KSNT Photo/Michael Dakota)

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