KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo bar worker accused of murder has been ordered to stand trial.
Orlando Mitchell, 23, was bound over to circuit court on charges of open murder and felon firearms after a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Authorities say Mitchell shot and killed 23-year-old Damien Tarey Tejada at the Wayside West bar in Kalamazoo in the early hours of April 17 after the pair had an argument. Witnesses told investigators Mitchell chased Tejaga through the bar, firing one shot. When he caught up with Tejada, Mitchell allegedly fired multiple shots as Tejada lay on the floor.
Three witnesses took the stand during Wednesday’s proceedings: Waitress Autumn Papineau, who said she saw the victim smash a glass in Mitchell’s face; bar patron Juan Carlos Hernandez, who saw Tejada running in the bar with Mitchell chasing him; and John Bolenbaugh, who was playing poker and saw Tejada’s last steps.
Defense attorney Susan Eifler attempted to argue self-defense. Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Alexis Sanford argued that being hit with a glass was not a sufficient threat to make Mitchell fear for his life.
Judge Julie Phillips agreed with Sanford and sent Mitchell on to trial.
During Mitchell’s arraignment last month, he was tearful as he said he was innocent.
A trial date has not yet been set.