Curtis Mitchell, the man who killed popular restaurant owner Tanya Tandoc, decided to change his “not guilty” plea to a “guilty” plea this Tuesday.
According to KSN, the 48-year-old man completely abandoned his claim of innocence and proceeded to provide a grisly confession about exactly how he took the life of Tandoc. He announced to the Sedgwick County Court that he would enter the guilty plea, despite a full understanding of what kind of consequences that would entail.
Judge Terry Pullman asked Curtis Mitchell if he understood what a guilty plea meant. Mitchell responded, “I do understand,” and confirmed he was “absolutely certain” that switching to a guilty plea is what he wanted to do. Mitchell took the admission of guilt a step further by waiving his right to a jury trial, which eliminated any chance of appealing the case at a later date.
Judge Pullman noted that entering a guilty plea and waiving chances of an appeal was a “unique” decision, to which Curtis Mitchell admitted, “Yes, sir.”
According to the Wichita Eagle, Curtis Mitchell was the one who called 9-1-1 after killing Tanya Tandoc with his bare hands. He informed the dispatcher that he had murdered the woman in a “crime of passion.”
“You and Miss Tandoc obviously had some relationship,” said the judge. “You are obviously under some emotional turmoil because of the circumstances of her death. You apparently wish to admit fault for causing her death and proceed to a plea in an extremely early stage of the case. Ultimately that’s your choice, and I’ll honor it if that’s what you want to do.”
Mitchell reportedly made the decision to switch from a “not guilty” to a “guilty” plea according to the advice of his attorney, Mark Rudy.
“It was pretty clear that Mr. Mitchell – this is what he wanted to do,” said District Attorney Marc Bennett. “He wanted to accept responsibility for what he’d done.”
Curtis Mitchell then proceeded to reveal the gruesome details of what exactly he was accepting responsibility for. The judge walked him through a prior confession, all of which Mitchell confirmed.
Mitchell told police that he knew he “had to kill” Tanya Tandoc, so he straddled her body, put his hands on her throat, and strangled her. In the process of strangling her, Curtis Mitchell also slammed Tandoc’s head against the floor repeatedly. He kept his hands on the victim’s throat for five or ten minutes before he was finally certain that she was dead, then tied her hands and ankles and dragged her downstairs to be sure she wouldn’t revive.
When the judge asked Curtis Mitchell one last time if he was entering a guilty plea for the premeditated murder of Tanya Tandoc, Mitchell responded, “Yes, sir.”
For another surprising guilty plea, read about the “revenge porn king” who agreed to a guilty plea for posting nudes of hundreds of non-consenting women.