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Mitchell Below Trial Begins

MEDFORD, Ore. — A trial is underway for a man charged with strangling his girlfriend in 2011.

is accused of killing Bonnie Sue Payne in March of 2011. Tuesday’s testimony included the defendant’s sister. She testified that her brother had struggled for years with employment and personal problems. She said that, while she had seen him become angry, she never saw him try to hurt himself or anyone else.

Photos of the crime scene were shown. Other evidence introduced included two hand-written letters found at the scene, both signed with Below’s name. In one of those is written, “I did it, she deserved it.”

The other letter was described as a possible suicide note to Below’s parents. Below’s family wept as the second letter was read. The trial continues on Wednesday.