Local attorney reacts to new charges against mom of two-year-old Harper Mitchell

The mother of the late two-year-old is facing charges of murder and manslaughter

RADFORD, Va. – 10 News is continuing to follow new developments in the case of two-year-old Harper Mitchell’s death.

Three years after the Radford toddler’s death, Harper’s mother, Amanda Mitchell is facing two counts of felony murder and one count of manslaughter.

Back in 2020 after Harper’s death, Mitchell was arrested and charged with child abuse.

Her boyfriend at the time, Andrew Byrd was charged with aggravated murder. Byrd’s charges went before a jury in March 2023, where he was found guilty.

10 News went to attorney John Fishwick to get his legal analysis on the case and why these new charges took three years to come down.

“They [The prosecution] probably evaluated the mother’s testimony in that trial. She was previously not charged with murder and manslaughter, but now has been. She can be charged because of those felonies been committed with how she was cruel and neglected this child and if she died because of the result of that, she can be charged for it as well,” said Fishwick.

Radford City Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak said these charges will not impact Byrd’s convictions or sentencing.

Fishwick said even if Mitchell didn’t directly kill her daughter, she could still be held responsible for Harper’s death.

“The evidence of child neglect and cruelty will come into play. It’s a horrific case and so it’s going to be a challenge for the defense,” he said.

According to court records, Mitchell is scheduled to make a court appearance this Friday for attorney arrangements.


About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.