December 13, 2019
Byron Mitchell and Danielle Jones.
Imagine allowing a wild animal into your home and thinking everything would be okay.
She wasn’t even a coalburner. In fact, the reason he chimped on her was because she kept rejecting his advances.
Nearly four years after she was almost beaten to death by a roommate she found on Craigslist, Danielle Cabo Jones appeared in a Miami courtroom wearing makeup to hide the remaining scars on her face.
The damage, however, runs deeper. The brutal attack severely damaged her brain, leaving her with sustained memory loss.
“I wanted to go to school for criminal justice and psychiatry and now, I have my 11-year-old brother help me with my math, which was my best subject in school,” Jones told a judge on Monday. “I also used to be able to sing very well. I can’t anymore. I used to be able to dance very well and I can’t anymore.”
“I’m still hopeful that every day I’ll get slowly better but I feel my life has been destroyed.”
For destroying that life, her attacker Byron Mitchell, 39, was sentenced Monday to life in prison. In June, a jury convicted him of attempted murder and false imprisonment for the Feb. 14, 2016, attack that left Jones in a coma for nearly one month.
Prosecutors said Mitchell attacked Jones, who was 23 at the time, inside their Overtown apartment. The two met after Jones placed a Craigslist ad looking for a roommate. They were living together just over a week.
Mitchell grew obsessed with Jones, and became so angry that she had no interest in him that he beat, choked and stabbed Jones. At trial, jurors rejected Mitchell’s claim that he acted in self-defense.
The sentence was imposed by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John Schlesinger, a longtime judge who said most of the women who endure the “savagery and brutality” of similar attacks don’t survive.