Cold case closed: Man convicted in brutal 1993 stabbing death of Spanaway woman

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TACOMA – A 23-year-old cold case officially came to a close Wednesday when James Edward Mitchell, 52, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1993 stabbing death of a Spanaway woman.

The case of Linda Robinson’s brutal death on Feb. 6, 1993 remained a mystery until blood collected as evidence was sent out for DNA analysis by the Washington State Patrol in 2013.

The lab matched the DNA to Mitchell, who grew up across the street from Robinson.

“This is another success story for justice from our cold case project,” said Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Robinson was babysitting for her niece and nephew, and the niece woke up from a nap to find Robinson had been stabbed 10 times in the back.

The niece ran to a neighbor’s house and said “my aunt’s dead, and there’s a fire.”

Police said Robinson was found holding a telephone handset, but the cord had been cut.

Mitchell was arrested in Leesburg, Fla., in August 2014. He has multiple felony convictions and arrests for narcotics possession, motor vehicle theft and assault with a deadly weapon.