• Man puts sign reading 'Sex offender residence' on his front yard


    MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. - A panhandle man caused quite a stir in his neighborhood because he proclaimed his sex offenders status from a sign in his yard.

    The sign in Jeffrey Mitchell's front yard reads: "Sex offender residence. Till the day I die."

    Mitchell pleaded no contest to one count involving child pornography on his computer, but he claims he's innocent.

    Mitchell said the state couldn't prove how it got there, but after two years and more than $100,000 fighting the charge, he said the pressure led him to take the plea.

    "It's still hard to accept that designation, especially since it lasts the rest of your life. Not even a murderer gets stamped on that for the rest of his life," Mitchell said.

    Mitchell said he wrote a letter to his neighbors, detailing the charge and his explanation.

    "I thought it was written from the heart, very well-written. It was one of those things that it was on his computer and he didn't know it," neighbor Bill Jenkins said.

    Mitchell said he put the sign in his yard to start a conversation with his neighbors and the community.

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