Man faces accusation of bigamy

Original publication: April 17, 2001

Kim Alexander Mitchell was a bit taken aback in 1999 when her boss approached her and said, "I heard your ex- got married."

That's because Mitchell, who married David A. Mitchell of Kent in 1993 but has lived apart from him for about five years, never got divorced. When she learned her husband might have married another woman in Brookfield, Conn., in 1999, Kim Mitchell said she "went all over creation" trying to convince authorities her husband may have broken the law.

Almost two years after the alleged second marriage took place, David Mitchell, 32, of Jay Court, Lake Carmel in Putnam County, is scheduled to appear Thursday in Beekman Court in Dutchess County to answer a felony charge of bigamy. Mitchell surrendered to state police last week.

"At this time, Mr. Mitchell is apparently married to two women," said Investigator Thomas Jones of state police in Dover. "He failed to legally terminate his first marriage before he married the second woman. He knows he's legally married to two women. There's no way around it."

Kim Mitchell said the situation "is almost comical" except that she has met another man she would like to marry but can't.

"I just want a divorce," she said. "I don't think he did it intentionally. I don't think he did it to spite me. I think he did it because he didn't want to pay for a divorce."

David Mitchell, on advice of his attorney, declined to comment yesterday.

Jones, an eight-year state police veteran, said the case was a first for him.

"Mr. Mitchell has his version of events, as does his first wife. It's definitely an unusual case and the first one I've seen like it," Jones said. "Mr. Mitchell did not terminate his first marriage legally before he got married a second time. And that constitutes bigamy."

Kim and David Mitchell were married October 1993 at St. Columba Church in Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County. Kim Mitchell said they separated about two years later, but never divorced. She said David sent her divorce papers, but never followed through on them.

When she heard about his alleged wedding almost two years ago, Kim Mitchell said she contacted police in Brookfield, Conn. Jones said David Mitchell declined an interview request from Brookfield police. Kim Mitchell contacted Jones, who pursued the case.

Jones said state law allows a bigamy suspect to be arrested in the county where an alleged second marriage took place, a county where the suspect lived with his or her new spouse, or any county where the suspect sets foot. Jones said he chose Beekman because it's convenient for David and Kim Mitchell. She lives in Dutchess.

Although bigamy charges are rare, they do have a local history. In 1996, a 39-year-old Yonkers man was charged with marrying a Mount Vernon woman while having a wife in the Bronx. In 1993, police filed the charge against a Stony Point woman who was accused of being married to two men. In 1991, a New Rochelle woman who got married in Cold Spring was charged with bigamy, suspected of being married to another man at the time.


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