Minnesota state senator arrested on burglary charge

Minnesota state senator arrested on burglary charge

A Minnesota state senator has been charged with first-degree burglary after being arrested in the city of Detroit Lakes early Monday morning.

Democratic state Sen. Nicole Mitchell, 49, was arrested at a residence after police responded to a 911 call around 4:45 a.m. Monday, Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steven Todd told The Hill.

Mitchell was formally charged with one count of first-degree burglary, according to a complaint shared with The Hill and filed Tuesday. Mitchell, a former meteorologist and a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, is serving her first term in the Minnesota Senate after being elected in 2022.

According to the complaint, police received reports that someone had broken into a residence and the person had run into the basement.

The police found Mitchell, who was dressed in all black clothing and a black hat, in the basement of the house, according to the complaint. The complaint states Mitchell told officers the victim was her stepmother, who cut off contact from her and her family after Mitchell’s father died.

“I was just trying to get a couple of my dad’s things because you wouldn’t talk to me anymore,” she told her stepmother during her arrest, according to the complaint.

She was trying to get items of her late father’s, including “pictures, a flannel shirt, ashes, and other items of sentimental value,” the complaint states.

At one point, Mitchell commented that “clearly I’m not good at this” after officers searched her backpack. The officers found a laptop with her stepmother’s name on it that Mitchell said was given to her by the stepmother, who denied giving it to her.

She also said, “I know I did something bad,” after being read her Miranda rights, according to the complaint.

Mitchell admitted to the officer that she drove from the Twin Cities to the residence in Detroit Lakes and got in the house through a window, per the complaint. While at the jail, the court document states she told an officer she had previously gotten into an argument with her stepmother, and they stopped speaking.

Mitchell wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon that she was checking in on a family member with Alzheimer’s when she was discovered in the residence.

“Like so many families, mine is dealing with the pain of watching a loved one decline due to Alzheimer’s and associated paranoia,” she said in a statement. “Over the weekend, I learned of medical information which caused me grave concern and prompted me to check on that family member. I entered a home I have come and gone from countless times in the past 20 years, where my son even once had his own room.”

“Unfortunately, I startled this close relative, exacerbating paranoia, and I was accused of stealing, which I absolutely deny,” Mitchell added.

The Associated Press reported that state Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R) said he was shocked at the news.

“The public expects Legislators to meet a high standard of conduct,” Johnson said in a statement. “As information comes out, we expect the consequences to meet the actions, both in the court of law, and in her role at the legislature.”

The Associated Press contributed.

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