Jeanette Mitchell, of Upper Marlboro, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for repeatedly stabbing her son-in-law with a letter-opener during an assault at his North Laurel home last summer.

Mitchell, 56, pleaded guilty last January to first-degree assault.


According to prosecutors and court records, on Aug. 23 Mitchell phoned the North Laurel home where her son-in-law, granddaughter and daughter lived and asked to pick up the teen and bring her to Upper Marlboro.

According to court records, the son-in-law told police his wife, Mitchell's daughter, vetoed the request, which Mitchell's defense attorney said made her "so fuming angry."

Mitchell allegedly threatened to shoot her son-in-law and became abusive, court records state.

Approximately 25 minutes later, Mitchell arrived at the North Laurel home and confronted the son-in-law, allegedly stabbing him multiple times with a letter opener, court records state.

The son-in-law was treated at Howard County General Hospital, where he received 11 staples to treat his wounds, according to court records.

Court records state Mitchell left the scene, but not before trying to take the 18-year-old with her, which her daughter stopped her from doing. She was later stopped by Howard County police near the house, court records state.

At the sentencing hearing, a pastor and anger-management counselor, as well as family and friends, testified that Mitchell was a "loving, deeply religious woman with no criminal record, who lost her composure," according to Wayne Kirwan, a spokesman for the State's Attorney's office.

Kirwan said Mitchell told the judge she sent a letter of apology to her daughter and son-in-law but didn't receive a response.

Mitchell was given a 10-year sentence, with all but 18 months suspended, by Howard County Circuit Court Judge Richard Bernhardt, who also said that following Mitchell's release, she is to placed on five years of supervised probation and be evaluated and treated by a mental health professional.

Mitchell is not to have contact with her son-in-law and his family, except for her daughter and granddaughter and only if the women reached out to Mitchell first, according to Kirwan.