Husband Imprisoned Wife, Now He's in Jail

ByABC News
July 28, 2006, 2:01 PM

July 28, 2006 -- Polly Mitchell spent years imprisoned in her own home in Omaha, Neb., by the man who was supposed to love and cherish her -- her husband, David.

Polly said her life with David was a nightmare. He imprisoned her in their home, where he repeatedly beat and raped her, she said. Their life together is one of the worst cases of domestic violence ever to make headlines.

Polly met David when she was 17 years old, in 1993. She was working at the drive-through window of a Taco Bell. David drove up to the window and asked for her phone number. She gave it to him. "He was very attractive and very charming," Polly said.

Polly had never had a boyfriend before. Just three months after their first date, Polly said he hit her. Despite the abuse, Polly and David married and had four children together. The abuse continued for years until she couldn't take it any longer, because of what it was doing to her children.

"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 said. "He told me he would kill me if I told anyone."

Polly didn't tell anyone, not even her mother.

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

Finally, in 2004, David, 36, was sentenced in Douglas County District Court after he pleaded no contest to false imprisonment, terroristic threats and two counts of child abuse for terrorizing a mother in front of her children.

Polly said her children were forced to witness her being beaten daily by 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.

Shelly Stratman, the county prosecutor, said David didn't have any sense that what he was doing was wrong.

"I really think that he believes that it was his right because it was his family and that was his wife. Every incident I think he could in his own mind justify," she said.