Harford woman missing, believed shot

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A Harford County woman was missing last night and her husband, whom police were seeking on a variety of charges, is accused of shooting her.

William James Mitchell, 23, who eluded police in Havre de Grace about an hour after the incident, also is accused of turning the gun on a friend, who told police he saw Mitchell shoot Tesheka L. Smythe, 26, according to charging documents. Police found bloody women's clothing at the friend's Darlington home, where the shooting is alleged to have occurred.

Police have checked more than a dozen hospitals in Maryland and surrounding states for Smythe, who was seriously wounded, according to the friend.

Yesterday the Harford County Sheriff's Office distributed photographs of Smythe and Mitchell to area and national police agencies.

"What is highly unusual, neither one has shown up," said Edward Hopkins, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. "We don't know how seriously she's hurt or where she might be. The word is out that we're looking for these folks, so the hope is people will come forward."

The warrant for Mitchell's arrest describes events beginning about 2 a.m. Monday when, police say, Mitchell and Smythe showed up at the friend's home on a farm off Darlington Road.

Mitchell told Timothy Bishop, who lives in the home, that the two were coming in, the documents state.

Shortly afterward, Mitchell and Smythe began arguing, Bishop told police. He said that Mitchell then pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired several shots at Smythe, who was struck at least once.

Mitchell also is accused of pointing the gun at Bishop and pulling the trigger, but the gun failed to discharge, police said.

Mitchell is charged with attempted first-degree murder and five other charges in the alleged assault of Bishop.

Mitchell ordered Bishop to help Smythe, "who was wounded and bleeding," the charging documents state. About 2:40 a.m., Bishop told Mitchell he was leaving and that Mitchell must "do what he had to do" and leave before 6 a.m. or he would call police, the documents state.

When Bishop returned, Mitchell and Smythe were gone, according to the report.

About 3:15 a.m., Mitchell was spotted by Maryland Transportation Authority Police drivinghis father's 1992 Geo Storm without the headlights on, Hopkins said.

Mitchell, driving west on U.S. 40 out of Cecil County, led police on a high-speed chase. He was last seen near Route 161 in Havre de Grace.

Reached by phone yesterday, Frank Mitchell of Havre de Grace defended his son.

"They have no proof whatsoever," Frank Mitchell said. "I think it's a trumped-up ... charge."

William Mitchell and Smythe, who Hopkins said was being sought for failing to appear in court for several misdemeanor charges, have a history of domestic disturbances.

In July 2002, Mitchell was convicted of failing to obey a law enforcement officer, a charge stemming from an altercation at a Havre de Grace home where the couple had been living.

Shortly after that incident, Frank Mitchell told police his son was uncontrollable and that Smythe might be in danger, the documents say.

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