AUSTIN, Texas - The man who attacked a woman on the Congress Ave Bridge has accepted a plea deal on Wednesday.
Timothy Mitchell walked into court Wednesday morning in chains. With the plea deal he accepted, Mitchell won't be back in street clothes for about 6 months. "[...] has found you guilty, and will sentence you at 200 days in both cases,” said Judge Brandy Mueller.
After Judge Mueller sentenced him for Assault with Bodily Injury, Mitchell sat quietly as Mark Dolan came forward and was given a chance to speak. "The anger, the hate, the hostility have mostly subsided, the physical injuries have mostly healed, except for a lingering neck injury, that will require treatment for several months to come,” said Dolan.
The last encounter Dolan had with Mitchell, ended with a trip to the hospital.
"What I really want to know is why? Why would you initiate an unprovoked attack on a defenseless woman and terrorize her friends,” said Dolan.
It all started on the Congress Ave bridge in early October. Several women were in town for a visit. In a picture taken by Ashley Goodrich you can see a man down the street wearing a white shirt. It was Timothy Mitchell. Goodrich spoke to fox 7's Jennifer Kendall shortly after the attack.
"He like lunged towards me, and the last thing I remember is him saying, "I'm gonna F you up." And he just started whaling on me,” Goodrich told Kendall.
Mark Dolan got beat up trying to intervene. "When he, the defendant, had her by the shoulders, I thought that he was going to push her off, and that was burned into my memory,” said Dolan after the sentencing hearing.
Earlier in court, Dolan read an email sent by Goodrich that she wanted Mitchell to hear. "I have no idea what the reason is behind his action, but I do pray that he gets help. I would never wish something like this on anyone. I have had to endure extensive psychological care when I returned home to South Dakota because this had frightened me and traumatized me in such a way, I may never feel again,” read Dolan from Goodrich’s email.
In his own statement, Dolan said he also remains emotionally scarred. When he goes out for walks in Austin now, Dolan said he looks over shoulder, fearful of another attack.
But he doesn't want his words to be used as an indictment against Austin's homeless population. "Most are not violent, that’s my view. Do I think the camping is a good thing, I really don't, I don’t like what it does for Austin, but let the politicians figure that one out,” said Dolan.
The judge and prosecutors urged Mitchell to seek support services that are available after he is released from jail.
Mitchell will not spend 200 days in jail, he is getting credit for the 73 days he has already spent locked up. He is also eligible for early release, which is troubling for Mark Dolan. "Forgiveness, I'll let Jesus figure that one out, but I don’t know if I'm there yet."
Dolan went on to say that despite the incident he will continue to volunteer with organizations that help the homeless.