Man Who Imprisoned Wife and Kids Is Sent to Jail

ByABC News

Aug. 13, 2004 -- -- Polly Mitchell and her four children spent years imprisoned in their own home by a man who was supposed to love and care for them.

Now David Mitchell, Polly's husband and the father of her four children, will finally understand what his wife and kids went through during their years as prisoners when he begins his own 20-year sentence.

Polly Mitchell says her life was a nightmare when she was living under her husband's rule in the home he had turned into a prison.

"I would just sit there with my babies and pray that the house wouldn't catch on fire because the doors were double-bolted and the windows were nailed shut," Polly Mitchell said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "He [David Mitchell] told me he would kill me if I told anyone."

David Mitchell was accused of holding Polly in their home with doors locked from the outside and tin foil on windows.

The 36-year-old Omaha man was sentenced this week in Douglas County District Court after he had pleaded no contest to false imprisonment, terroristic threats and two counts of child abuse for terrorizing the mother in front of her children.

Polly Mitchell said her children were forced to witness daily beatings from her husband.

"My oldest son would hide under the bed and my daughter would try to get between us and my babies would just cry," she said.

After years of imprisonment, Polly Mitchell finally called a local YWCA last June. The battered wife said she could no longer let her children live in fear.

"My son started showing violent traits and I didn't like that at all," she said. "And I knew that I wouldn't be able to do anything with my life."

After her conversation with workers at the YWCA, authorities helped Polly Mitchell and her four children to escape through a window in their home.

David Mitchell's attorney asked for probation, but the judge called Mitchell's actions despicable and gave him 14 to 20 years. He will be eligible for parole in 2011.

Polly Mitchell said she didn't escape earlier because she was scared her husband would kill her, and she still loved him, despite the daily terror he put her through.

But now the mother of four says the last words she heard from David Mitchell left her with a chill that hasn't subsided.

"He told me I was going to go to hell because I was wrong," she said. "I think he hates me. He can't hate me any more than I hate him."

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