‘A long time coming’: Four years after daughter’s murder, conviction brings closure for grieving father

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four years after the murder of Army soldier Brittney Mitchell, her estranged husband has been convicted.

Mitchell’s father Rod Hughes got the call on Thursday that Victor Silvers, his daughter’s estranged husband, was found guilty in her 2018 murder.

“It was a long time coming,” Hughes told News4JAX on Friday.

Silvers was found guilty of murdering Sgt. Mitchell at Fort Campbell in Kentucky and of attempting to murder a man who was visiting her.

Hughes said he carries his daughter’s memory with him every day wearing her dog tags and a bracelet.

Mitchell was a graduate of Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville and was working as an Army automated logistical specialist when she was killed. She was 27.

“She was a fun, fun, happy person,” Hughes said. “She could turn a sad day into a happy day. She was always happy. You’ve really never seen her too sad. Her friends that were on the base, you know, spoke highly of her.”

Mitchell and Victor were in the midst of a divorce in 2018, court records show. Mitchell also had a domestic violence protection order against him, but days after it was granted, Silvers drove to the Army base where Mitchell was stationed and shot her three times. He also shot a friend of Mitchell’s.

Hughes said he feels like justice has been served.

“It’s halfway. The final justice won’t be until February 22…sentencing day,” he said.

Silvers faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Mitchell was a graduate of Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville and was working as an Army automated logistical specialist in Kentucky when she was killed. She was 27. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Federal prosecutors originally planned to seek the death penalty against Silvers, but in April, federal prosecutors filed a motion to withdraw the notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

“I was upset, but I hope he gets life in prison with no parole,” Hughes said.

Hughes says he plans to address Silvers at the sentencing hearing in February.

“I’m not gonna write nothing. I want it to be said from the heart. You know, I want him to know how I feel how he hurt me, hurt our family, hurt friends, hurt everybody,” he said. “It’s so much I want to say, why? My main reason [is] why? You know, for what reason? You know, she didn’t harm you no kind of way. She didn’t harm no one. So just, you know, just why?”

The jury found Silvers guilty of all charges against him, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, domestic violence resulting in death, violation of a protection order resulting in death and several gun-related charges.

Mitchell was posthumously promoted to sergeant and received the Army Commendation Medal.

If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse, here’s a list of resources available:

  • 24/7 Hubbard House Hotline at (904) 354-3114 or Textline at (904) 210-3698. Survivors can also make an appointment or walk into the Hubbard House Outreach Center at 6629 Beach Blvd, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All Hubbard House services are free and confidential.
  • The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline, which will direct you to the nearest shelter, is 1-800-500-1119.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • The Micah’s Place (Nassau County) Domestic Violence Help Hotline is 904-225-9979.
  • The Quigley House (Clay County) hotline is 904-284-0061. https://www.quigleyhouse.org/. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s free services are available at 904-529-4081.
  • The Betty Griffin Center (St. Johns County) can be reached at 904-824-1555.

About the Author:

I-TEAM and general assignment reporter