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Mittelman sentencing continued

The sentencing of convicted killer Steven Howard Mittelman was continued last month.

Mittelman, 56, of El Dorado Hills, was found guilty in September of fatally shooting his ex-wife, Valerie Rita Mittelman, in their apartment on the evening of June 17, 2010.

Mittelman, who is facing 50 years to life in prison, had been set for sentencing Oct. 28. But his attorney, El Dorado County deputy public defender Bob Banning, asked the court to continue the matter.

Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud granted the request and scheduled a new sentencing date of Dec. 9.

But after the brief hearing, Banning told Mother Lode News he would be filing a motion to request a new trial. The attorney did not elaborate.

Mittelman was convicted of the killing in late September; the jury took less than 24 hours after beginning their deliberations.

The jury trial, which lasted less than two weeks, featured testimony from Mittelman himself, as well as his second wife, Gail.

Mittelman told jurors that he was provoked into shooting Valerie during a drunken argument. The El Dorado Hills man testified that he was sent into a blind rage by his ex-wife, who apparently told him she was glad she chose to have an abortion in 1979 while they were still a couple.

Mittelman testified that he was so devastated by Valerie’s comments that he contemplated suicide before turning his gun on his ex-wife.

Prosecutors, though, claimed it was more than a hurtful remark that prompted the killing.

Deputy district attorney Joe Alexander said Mittelman had entered into a blossoming relationship with a third woman — an ex-girlfriend — behind Gail’s back.

According to Alexander, Valerie disapproved of Mittelman’s behavior and was threatening to tell Gail of her husband’s alleged infidelity.

In the minutes following Valerie’s death, Mittelman admitted to crafting a lie in order to deflect suspicion away from him.

During the trial it was revealed that Mittelman told a 911 dispatcher that Valerie accidentally shot herself during an argument.

Deputies arrived and quickly detained Mittelman at his El Dorado Hills apartment.

Hours after Valerie’s body was found, Mittelman told investigators that the two were struggling over control of the gun and that he mistakenly squeezed the trigger, killing her instantly.

Several days later, Mittelman admitted to detectives that he intentionally shot Valerie but said he could not remember why.

jratajczak@mtdemocrat.net

Short URL: http://www.villagelife.com/?p=13332

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Posted by on Nov 4 2011.
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