INDIANAPOLIS — A man accused of killing the mother of his child outside a daycare on Indy’s near west side made his first court appearance after being charged with murder.

The suspect, Orlando Mitchell, came to court handcuffed to a wheelchair and pleaded not guilty.

Court records show the suspect has a history of violence and threats against the victim for more than a year before the murder.

After dropping her kids off at a daycare this month, prosecutors claim Krystal Walton was ambushed and shot to death by her son’s father.

Approved picture of Krystal Walton

Hours later, the suspect was shot in the leg by police and arrested in downtown Indianapolis.

According to an affidavit, Mitchell’s own mother told police her son warned he was going to kill Walton and said, “If he couldn’t see his son, she wasn’t gonna be in his life either.”

“The message I would have for the community is this is a fight we need everyone to be involved in. We need everyone to speak up. We need you to know who to call so you can get help whether it’s your loved one or your neighbor,” said Indy Champions director Danyette Smith.

The director of Indy’s domestic violence prevention program urges family members to report warning signs and threats before they escalate to violence.

“For family members, it’s important to understand the cycle of abuse,” said Smith. “Please speak up. Even if that means going to the police station to make a report.”

Court records also show in March of last year, Mitchell was charged with choking Walton, who was pregnant at the time. During the assault, he allegedly said, “I’m gonna mess around and kill you.”

Booking photo of Orlando Mitchell

Mitchell eventually went to court and accepted a plea deal in July of this year. That deal resulted in no jail time, but he was ordered to undergo domestic violence counseling and a no-contact order was put in place.

Just two weeks after that plea agreement, in early August, Mitchell allegedly violated the protective order and forced his way into the home of Walton’s mother. During that crime, Walton claimed Mitchell said, “If you call the police, it’ll be the last thing you do.”

That was followed the next day by a text that read, “I promise on my life I won’t stop until you lose everything.”

That accusation resulted in a warrant being issued for Mitchell’s arrest in late August, but it took over five weeks for criminal charges to be filed for that violation. Those criminal charges and a second warrant were issued the day before Walton’s murder.

In addition to murder, Mitchell is charged with invasion of privacy and illegal weapons possession. He’s being held without bond pending trial.

“The most important piece we can give anyone trying to flee a violent relationship is to connect with an advocate, so you’re not limited on resources to get out of that domestic violence situation,” said Smith.

Anyone who needs help connecting with resources can contact Indy Champions at 317-210-0866.