SF porn mogul's son to be tried in girlfriend's death

November 23, 2009 8:41:49 AM PST
The son of a late San Francisco pornography mogul will stand trial on accusations that he crushed his ex-girlfriend's skull with a baseball bat.

Marin County Judge Kelly Simmons ruled Thursday the evidence was sufficient to put 27-year-old James Raphael Mitchell on trial for first-degree murder in the July 12 bludgeoning death of Danielle Keller. Mitchell is the son of the late "Behind the Green Door" director Jim Mitchell.

Simmons' decision followed a preliminary hearing that included testimony from James Mitchell's mother, Mary Jane Grimm.

Grimm, who is Jim Mitchell's ex-wife, testified that her son told her he didn't know his own strength.

James Mitchell also is charged with kidnapping his and Keller's 1-year-old daughter, who was recovered unharmed.

He has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Terence Hallinan, says he acted out of passion.