The nearly three years that have passed since her son was murdered have been difficult for Kathy Mitchell.
“It’s been awful torture during this time,” said Mitchell, 60, whose son Vincent “Vince” T. Presutto, 34, was shot outside his Knoxville, Tenn., home on Dec. 17, 2009. The 1994 graduate of Manchester High School died the next day.
Two of three defendants accused of felony murder in the Presutto death are to go on trial in Knoxville today before Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steven Sword.
They are Michael D. Lambdin, 22, of Kodak, Tenn., and Frederick Scott Keith, 30, of Strawberry Plains, Tenn.
A third man also charged with felony murder, Anthony White, 24, of Kodak, Tenn., is not going on trial at this time in anticipation of his agreeing to be a witness against the other two, said Assistant Knox County District Attorney General Leslie Nassios, who is with the office’s Violent Crime Unit.
Presutto had spent the evening just before he was shot at his ex-wife’s home making a Christmas present for his son, Eli, now 7.
A few days before he was shot, Presutto had graduated from the Tennessee Technology Center and he was to start a job the next week as an electrician, his cousin, Brad Braman, said.
Defendant Lambdin attended the same school, said Mitchell.
“He was so excited,” Mitchell said of her son’s joy at finishing school. “It was looking so rosy.”
Her son also had been to a local doctor in Tennessee in the days before the shooting for back pain, his mother said.
Nassios said the defendants are charged with felony murder because the killing occurred during the perpetration of a specific felony, which she said was to rob Presutto of a prescription drug.
Presutto was found shot outside his apartment after he returned home from his visit with his son and ex-wife, his mother said.
Mitchell, a resident of New Franklin, and two of her children plan to attend the trial in Knoxville.
Listening to the testimony will be difficult, she said, but she is relieved that the trial date has come.
“I am just trying to get some closure,” she said.
The fact that her son died by himself outside of his apartment haunts her, she said.
She said her son was shot once while standing in the doorway of his apartment. After he was shot, he crawled outside and called 911 on his cell phone, Mitchell said.
“He died on his own, all alone,” she said.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.