“I miss the youthfulness he gave to my life,” she said. “Never would I believe I would bury my baby.”
Shinsato told of how she worried about him as he served two tours of duty as a Marine stationed in Iraq, only to die in a car accident instead — abandoned by his best friend in his time of need.
“I do know if Anthony had been the driver, there would be no man left behind,” she said.
Andre Mathieu said his dead brother used to talk about how close the two friends were.
“He once told me (Mitchell) was just like his brother,” Andre Mathieu said. “As a brother, I would have never left one of my own behind.”
After the crash, Mitchell and a friend of the two men who was a passenger — Brooke Scott, 20, of Derry — were taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry for treatment of minor injuries.
That’s where Mitchell admitted to a police officer he had been the driver and drank two beers and a scorpion bowl at a Manchester restaurant hours earlier. Beer cans were found near the crashed car, which hit a tree and flipped over.
When Shinsato last saw the two men that night, she told Mitchell to make sure he brought her son home safely since he was the designated driver, prosecutor Bradley Bolton said.
That didn’t happen.
“To crawl in the back seat and not even acknowledge your friend is trapped underneath the car speaks volumes,” said Bolton, who recommended Mitchell serve at least 6 to 12 years in prison.
Scott, who did not attend the sentencing, told police that both men had been drinking when they arrived to pick her up at her home, according to a police affidavit.
Mitchell also received a three- to seven-year suspended prison sentence because of the injuries suffered by Scott.
If convicted of negligent homicide at trial, Mitchell faced seven and a half to 15 years in prison.
Mitchell was convicted of possession of a controlled drug in 2009.