Cedar Rapids Man pleads guilty to robbing cab driver who was killed

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 3:48 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A Cedar Rapids man acquitted of robbing and killing a cab driver in 2011, has now pled guilty to a federal charge connected to the killing.

44-year-old Johnathan Mitchell has been convicted of one count of interference with commerce by robbery and now faces a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.

In the plea hearing, Mitchell admitted he robbed a Century cab on April 29, 2011, and took money and personal effects from the driver. Evidence admitted at the trial, showed the cab driver died of multiple stab wounds she sustained during the robbery.

Prosecutors in the 2013 trial said he stabbed 54-year-old Cathy Stickley 18 times in the neck and head and stole cash from her in a Cedar Rapids alley in 2011. Police found his fingerprints in Stickley’s blood at the scene. However, a Story County jury found him not guilty of first-degree murder and robbery charges.

During the 2013 trial, Mitchell admitted he stole money from Stickley to buy crack cocaine that night, but he said she was already dead, lying outside the cab on the ground in the 1500 block alley between Second and Third avenues SE.

Mitchell is already serving a 7-year sentence after pleading guilty in October 2013 to assault causing serious injury, and forgery. Mitchell admitted he beat a man with a wooden handled tool in September 2010 at Coe College. The man suffered skull fractures, a large cut on the top of his head, and skin abrasions.