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Murderer to serve 12-15 years

December 6, 2011

The man who killed a 19-year-old Catawba teenager in 2007 will spend at least 12 years in prison.

John Lee Mitchell, the Florida man who killed 19-year-old Catawba native Travis Baker in April 2007, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday in Catawba County Court. Mitchell will spend a maximum of 15 years in N.C. Department of Correction.

The Travis Baker case, which began as a missing person case in 2007, turned into a homicide investigation after his bullet-riddled skull and other remains were found in a lumber pile off Eulalia Lane near Catawba in June 2009.

The case was set to go to trial in January.

For the full story on Mitchell’s plea, details from the case and reactions from Baker’s family, check back with observernewsonline.com or pick up a Wednesday edition of The Observer News Enterprise.

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