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The sheriff’s office report that Joseph Mitchell, 46 of  Durham County,  will be charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 4-year-old son.

Authorities said that, of 17 Thistle Place, will also face two counts of attempted murder in attacks on his 10-year-old and 13-year-old children.

Emergency crews responding to a 911 call found Mitchell and the 4-year-old injured inside their home in the Hardscrabble Plantation community early Wednesday, authorities said. The boy was transported to Duke Hospital, where he died.

Authorities said that the boy died of asphyxiation and that Mitchell’s wounds were self-inflicted.

Mitchell underwent surgery at Duke Hospital and was expected to survive. Authorities said that he was being kept under guard at the hospital and will go before a magistrate when he is released.

The child’s mother and a grandfather were at home at the time, but investigators had trouble interviewing them because they were so distraught.


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