Father accused of murder appears in civil court

Joseph Mitchell, Durham County Courthouse on November 2, 2010. (Tamara Gibbs)

November 2, 2010 10:19:10 AM PDT
A Durham father charged with killing his 4-year-old son and attempting to kill his two other children appeared in civil court Tuesday.

Deputies escorted 46-year-old Joseph Mitchell into court for a hearing involving a restraining order his wife filed.

At the civil hearing, Mitchell resolved child support issues and agreed to a restraining order on marital property. He faces criminal charges, including one count of first-degree murder.

His 4-year-old son was found strangled in the family's north Durham home in September. Authorities believe financial troubles may have contributes to the crime as the family's home was in foreclosure.

Court documents also revealed Mitchell was having an affair.

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