September 10th 2019
A woman will not face charges in the June shooting death of her ax-wielding boyfriend outside Central Point.
Vanessa Rose Marroquin, 33, killed Robert Leroy Mitchell Jr.
June 6, in the 200 block of Hanley Road, and evidence supported Marroquin’s assertion she was acting in self-defense when she shot Mitchell in the chest, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
At about 6 a.m. that day, Marroquin called 911 to report that she had shot Mitchell after he struck her with an ax.
Marroquin told Jackson County sheriff’s deputies that she and Mitchell had an argument before dawn.
She said she had grabbed a revolver from her vehicle, telling police Mitchell “doesn’t know when to stop” when he “snaps.”
About three hours after the argument, Mitchell returned to the Hanley Road property and found Marroquin at a warehouse accompanied by three other witnesses.
In an apparent rage, Mitchell approached Marroquin, grabbed her and pulled her from the warehouse toward a car parked about 200 yards away.
Marroquin told police she was dragged by her arm and hair and was struck repeatedly on her back with the blunt end of an ax, according to Deputy District Attorney Lucy Durst.
Mitchell threw her to the ground and started rummaging through the car, Marroquin told investigators. She said she pulled out her revolver while he was searching, fired once, ran back to the warehouse and told others what happened, and called 911.
Police found Mitchell dead on the ground near the vehicle when they arrived.
The three witnesses corroborated Marroquin’s account, the release said.
Emergency room doctors observed multiple injuries on Marroquin, including a facial bruise, contusions near her shoulder blade and tenderness in the thoracic region near her spine, along with abrasions on her hands and wrists.
“It was consistent with injuries she described that night,” Durst said.
Marroquin told investigators she had been in a relationship with Mitchell since October of last year, during which time there had been multiple physical altercations in which Mitchell grabbed her by the hair, threw her around or strangled her. She described an incident where he threatened her with a “hostage situation” in the woods if she ever left the relationship.
An April 29 instance of domestic violence was documented, according to Durst, after Marroquin went to the emergency room. Marroquin told doctors that Mitchell punched her in the face, choked her and knocked her to the ground causing her to lose consciousness. A consent search of her cellphone yielded 21 photos of injuries that Marroquin used to document past abuses.
The June 6 altercation was the first time Mitchell used a weapon, Durst said.
Mitchell’s criminal history involved 18 prior arrests in the state of Oregon, according to Durst, some of which included violent felonies
and weapons convictions.
Josephine County Circuit Court records show that Mitchell had served more than 5-1/2 years in prison for assault and was released in 2013, according to earlier news reports.
Marroquin has no prior criminal history.
Under Oregon law, a person is justified in using deadly force if they reasonably believe their life is in danger.