Marcus Mitchell

Assistant State Attorney Courtney Durden Secures Life in Prison for Armed Burglar

On October 21st, 2021, Marcus Mitchell forced his way in the home of the victim. Once inside Mitchell pistol whipped the victim with a gun and threatened to kill her. The victim was transported to the hospital and treated for her injuries. When law enforcement contacted Mitchell, he gave them a false name and pushed one of the officers while attempting to run away. He was quickly apprehended and taken into custody. Mitchell has five prior felony charges and multiple misdemeanors from Polk County and New York. He was convicted and sentenced to Life in Prison for Burglary of a Dwelling with Battery, Battery on Law Enforcement Officer, and Resisting Officers with Violence. State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Courtney Durden and the Winter Haven Police Department for their work on this case.


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Inmate photo of Charles Polen

Drunk Driver Convicted and Sentenced to 30 Years Prison for DUI Manslaughter

On February 22, 2020, Charles Polen and the victim got into a verbal argument at “The Coop” located in Babson Park. The victim left the establishment and proceeded to walk on the side of the road. When the defendant finished his beer, he got into his vehicle and ran over the victim causing blunt force trauma to her head. Instead of stopping, Polen drove back to The Coop and parked his car. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Polen was sentenced to 30 year in the Florida State Prison followed by 15 years of probation for DUI Manslaughter, Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death, and Driving Without a Driver’s License. State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Rachelle Williamson and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.


SAO 10 seal with social media logos

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Open Enrollment for Annual SAO Youth Mock Trial

The State Attorney’s Office is now accepting applications for their Annual Youth Mock Trial.

The four-day program will take place July 10th through July 13th  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow. This program gives students going in to the 11th and 12th grade an opportunity to work with prosecutors from the State Attorney’s Office and learn how a criminal case makes its way through the criminal justice system. Students will attend court hearings and study current cases to see how the law is applied.

Please fill out the application attached and submit to or mail to the Polk County Courthouse. Deadline to apply is July 3rd, 2023.

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Mock Trial Program APPLICATION

Inmate Photo Corey Smith

Man Convicted and Sentenced to 25 Years Florida State Prison

Corey Smith didn’t take kindly to a group of friends who asked him to leave their backyard get together. Several witnesses and the victim were hanging out together when Smith, who lived directly behind one of the witnesses, walked over while heavily intoxicated. When Smith continued to use vulgar language and began breaking glass, he was asked to leave. After leaving for approximately 10 minutes, Smith returned to the witnesses’ home and started an argument. Smith pulled out a handgun and pointed it at one of the witnesses. That’s when the victim jumped in and was shot in the back. Thankfully, the victim survived and has recently become a firefighter. Smith was convicted of Aggravated Battery with a Weapon and charged under the 10-20 Life Law. He was sentenced to 25 years in Florida State Prison. State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Ralph Guerra and the Lakeland Police Department for their work on this case.Photo of gun