Report Hints At Motive For Bloomfield Football Player Accused Of Fatal Stabbing

Tarence "T.J." Mitchell has been charged in the stabbing death of a 27-year-old man in Bloomfield.

HARTFORD — A Bloomfield High School football captain accused of fatally stabbing a 27-year-old friend told police he stabbed the man five times, chasing him down twice, after the two got together for a meeting the friend had warned "wasn't going to end well."

Tarence "T.J." Mitchell, 18, told police that he and Ronald "Rondale" Taylor, also known as "City," had carried on a relationship that began about two years ago and included sex, and that Taylor had called him a "Bloomfield gay football player" on Facebook, according to a report released in court Friday.

Mitchell was charged with murder after the stabbing outside his Hill Farm Road home Thursday night. Taylor was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Mitchell ran after Taylor twice during the assault and stabbed him even after an unarmed Taylor held his hands in the air, the police report says.

The murder allegation is "disheartening," said Gilda Johnson, Mitchell's grandmother. She said she has sympathy for both sides.

"I feel for his family, and I feel for our family," she said.

Johnson was one of about 16 of Mitchell's family members and friends who watched his arraignment in Superior Court on Friday along with more than a dozen of Taylor's supporters. Mitchell appeared before Judge Joan Alexander wearing a white shirt, buttoned up all the way, and khaki pants.

Alexander boosted Mitchell's bail from $500,000 to $1 million and scheduled his next court date for Dec. 3.

Mitchell has no criminal record, his public defender, John Stawicki, told the judge. Mitchell doesn't suffer from any illnesses, he said, but "he's extremely confused and upset."

Outside of court, members of Taylor's family said they are satisfied with the higher bail. Taylor's aunt, Judith Harris, said, "My nephew, he loved life. He loved everybody."

"Two lives are lost. My nephew will never speak again," she said, adding that Mitchell "will be locked up."

"It's bad all the way around," said Lajauna McCoy, Mitchell's uncle.

Harris questioned why Mitchell would keep going to Taylor's Bloomfield home if he felt uncomfortable with Taylor's actions, and why he didn't call police.

Bloomfield High School's football coach, Ty Outlaw, said in a telephone interview that "T.J.'s a great kid." He also said he didn't know anything about allegations that an older man carried on a sexual relationship with the high school student.

About 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, Bloomfield officers responded to a report of a disturbance in the front yard of 24 Hill Farm Road. They found two people suffering from knife wounds. One, Mitchell, had superficial wounds to his hand, police said; the other, Taylor, had multiple stab wounds to his torso.

According to the police report, Mitchell initially lied to police, saying two men wearing hoodies had walked attacked them, and that he ran away in a different direction than Taylor, who was chased by the suspects.

When a detective started reviewing Mitchell's first statement with him, though, Mitchell confessed that he had stabbed Taylor, the report says.

Mitchell said he met Taylor about two years ago through his stepbrother. A month or two after meeting Taylor, "he was smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol at 'City's' house," according to the report.

He told police that he and Taylor engaged in sexual relations. Mitchell just wanted to be friends with Taylor, but Taylor "wanted more than that and wanted to have a relationship with him," the report says.

At the end of last year, Mitchell told police, he tried to distance himself from Taylor.