'99 shooting leads to charge

The death of a woman who was paralyzed by a bullet in 1999 results in a murder charge

Staff WriterFebruary 6, 2008 

— Candace Gabrielle Mitchell survived for nearly nine years after a bullet intended for someone else lodged in her head and paralyzed her.

But Mitchell died Jan. 24, and the medical examiner, according to police, described her death as a homicide.

This week, a Durham County grand jury indicted the man who police say fired the bullet that left Mitchell unable to walk, talk or care for herself.

On Monday, four days after the 25-year-old was buried, Michael Rashad Kee was charged with her murder. As of late Tuesday, he had not been arrested.

Candace Mitchell had just finished the 10th grade at Riverside High School when she got into a friend's minivan June 14, 1999, for a ride that would change her life.

Police have said Kee, who was 21 at the time, was shooting at a man over a $20 bet.

The bullet went through the rear window of the minivan, according to police, and lodged in Mitchell's head.

Kee served six years in prison for assaulting Mitchell as part of a plea deal arranged in 2000 by Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline.

Sgt. Jack Cates said the medical examiner's ruling of homicide led to the new charge against Kee.

The case raised questions in 1999 about a low bail set for Kee in a shooting that happened about a month before Mitchell was injured.

Kee is described as a black male, 5 feet 11 inches tall and 270 pounds, police said in a news release today. His last known address was on Sprucewood Drive.

Anyone who knows where Kee might be is asked to call Sgt. Jack Cates at (919) 560-4440, ext. 262, or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases. Callers need not identify themselves.

anne.blythe@newsobserver.com or (919) 932-8741

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