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MailTribune.com
  • Suspect is arraigned on murder charge in death of his girlfriend

  • The Medford man accused of killing his girlfriend last weekend was arraigned Tuesday on a murder charge, which could land him in prison for the rest of his life.
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  • The Medford man accused of killing his girlfriend last weekend was arraigned Tuesday on a murder charge, which could land him in prison for the rest of his life.
    Investigators allege Mitchell Alan Below, 50, killed his girlfriend early Saturday morning and then phoned his brother confessing to the crime.
    The brother then called Medford police, who rushed to Mitchell's apartment in the 500 block of West Sixth Street.
    Officers discovered 48-year-old Bonnie Susan Payne dead inside the apartment. They soon learned Below had barricaded himself inside his bathroom and refused police orders to come out.
    After a three-hour standoff, Below left the bathroom and was taken to the hospital to be treated for self-inflicted knife wounds.
    Below underwent surgery and was later lodged in the Jackson County Jail on a murder charge. He is being held without bail.
    Court records also show Below has lived in Burney, Calif., which is northeast of Redding. He also has listed residences in Dunsmuir, Calif., and Bend. Below does not appear to have a record of violent crimes in Oregon. Murder carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 years, under Oregon Measure 11 law.
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