Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Click here to learn more about Officer James D. Mitchell, but first hear the quotes from his loved ones.

Officer James D. Mitchell
Summary: James D. Mitchell Jr., 42, an Amarillo police officer, had just finished his shift and was driving home, still in uniform. Mitchell saw Hafdahl's car swerve around his truck and watched as it veered off the road. He stopped to investigate. When he saw Hafdahl running away, he ordered him to stop. With his revolver drawn, Mitchell pursued Hafdahl through the yard until Hafdahl was stopped by a locked gate. Hafdahl then turned and killed Mitchell at close range with four shots from his 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Mitchell never returned fire. After shooting Mitchell, Hafdahl fled the scene, only to turn himself in later that night. Shawn David Terry, 22, was arrested near the scene of the shooting. Daniel Louis Helgan, 24, was arrested later in New Mexico. Dr. Ralph Erdmann, a forensic pathologist, reconstructed the crime scene at trial and testified that based on the distance and angle from which each shot was fired, only one shot (the one in Mitchell's wrist) could have been fired when Mitchell was standing. Daniel Helgran received a sentence of one year's probation for failure to stop and render aid. After Hafdahl's trial, Dr. Ralph Erdmann pleaded guilty to perjury and tampering with government records in other cases he testified in.

The widow and daughters of slain policeman James Mitchell came to Canyon to see a judge set the execution date for the killer of their husband and father. "After 16 years it's about time. We have been through it every step of the way, and I'm looking forward to reaching a conclusion. It has taken a toll on my family," said Ellen Mitchell Stone, the widow of Amarillo Police Department Sgt. James Mitchell. "My girls were 8 and 9 when their father was killed. Now, they have graduated from college, are married and have jobs."

After Thursday's execution, the husband of Mitchell's daughter, Dean Clapper, read from a prepared statement. "Tonight's execution cannot begin to erase the years of heartache, grief and emotional loss that Hafdahl's actions have caused our family," Clapper said. "Never to be regained is the innocence of two children, the loss of childhood memories or recover the loss of a loving husband and father.”In conclusion, our family has stood together facing the most evil of individuals. Tonight, we have finally obtained peace."


  1. i am the daughter of hafdahl i am so sorry for your family pain and loos.. with that said no one thinks of the family of the accuser.. my brother and sister and i have suffered more than anyone can think of.. the pain and depression we have felt the names we have been called the mental and emotions abuse we have endured.. i am not saying your pain is not real or less than but that with the actions of ones loved one has made us a victume too!! my father did not kidnap any one and he was not a drug dealer and i know this to be fact.. that was all here say and to make the jurors look more porly on my father.. he really did not know he was a cop. after taking off from my pore mother he was finally going to come home to us. instead he ended up in prison my hole life.. i never got to hug my gather touch smell his hair until he easy dead.. how sad is that.. i am so very sorry to the Mitchell family. thank you:-Xo Wendy sue Mitchell (hafdahl)

  2. I am sorry for what happen to your Dad. But my blog here is a comfort to Victims' Families who want justice done.