Ex-senator faces charge of abusing wife Clarence Mitchell III arrested after incident at family home


Former state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell III, who spent 16 months in federal prison for influence-peddling, was arrested yesterday and charged with assault after an altercation with his wife in their Northwest Baltimore home, according to police and court documents.

Mitchell, whose late father and namesake is the civil rights leader after whom Baltimore's Circuit Court building is named, was arrested on a warrant charging him with spousal abuse of his wife, Joyce.

The arrest came after an incident yesterday morning at the couple's home in the 6300 block of Wallis Ave., said Sam Ringgold, a Baltimore police spokesman.

Court records showed that Mitchell was charged with assault by threat and possessing a deadly weapon. However, no specific weapon was mentioned and no other details about the incident were available.

Mitchell, 56, walked out of the state's new Central Booking Facility shortly after 7 p.m., after being released on his own recognizance.

Last night, Mitchell contacted The Sun and read a statement denying the allegations:

"This is a domestic matter, and the proper forum for resolving this is in the judicial system. My 24-year legislative record will show that I have consistently been an advocate for the protection of women from spousal abuse.

"As all of my family, friends and community members know, these allegations are totally false. My family and I are looking forward to my complete vindication."

He refused to answer questions.

Mitchell is chairman and chief executive officer of System Configuration & Maintenance Corp., a computer company with offices on Ostend Street in South Baltimore.

He was elected to the House of Delegates at the age of 23 and, after four years, moved to the Senate, where he served for 20 years.

Mitchell, with his brother, former state Sen. Michael B. Mitchell, was convicted in November 1987 in U.S District Court of trying to impede a congressional investigation into Wedtech Corp., a minority defense contractor in the Bronx, N.Y.

Mitchell was given a 2 1/2 -year sentence in the Wedtech case and another two years for trying to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation of drug dealer Melvin "Little Melvin" Williams.

Pub Date: 6/29/96

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