Nicole Mitchell: Minnesota state senator denies theft after burglary arrest

Nicole Mitchell: Minnesota state senator denies theft after burglary arrest
Nicole Mitchell: Minnesota state senator denies theft after burglary arrest

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — A Minnesota state senator has denied stealing after she was charged with first-degree burglary of her stepmother’s home.

Nicole Mitchell was arrested in the early hours of Monday at a property in the city of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

The Democrat said on she was retrieving some of her late father’s belongings. Mitchell, 49, was allegedly wearing black clothing and a black hat when officers detained her.

Officers also found she had a torch with a black sock over it, according to the criminal complaint.

The stepmother called police to report a break-in and when officers arrived the suspect ran into the basement, where she had entered the property via a window, it is alleged.

“I know I did something bad,” Mitchell, a former local TV meteorologist and Air Force veteran, told police, according to the complaint.

She said her stepmother had cut off contact with her after her father’s death last year and she wanted to get some of his belongings.

In the complaint, officers noted Mitchell was trying to get her father’s ashes and “other items of sentimental value”.

She also allegedly had in her bag a laptop that had her stepmother’s name on it. Mitchell told police her stepmother had given her the computer, but the stepmother denied this, according to the complaint.

In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, Mitchell denied stealing anything and said “grave concern” about a loved one with Alzheimer’s had led her to enter the home.

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

Some lawmakers in the state legislature — which Democrats control by a one-seat margin — are calling on her to step down.

State Senate minority leader Mark Johnson, a Republican, said despite the “difficult situation” for Mitchell’s family she should resign “immediately”.

State Senate majority leader Erin Murphy, a Democrat, called the allegations “upsetting”, but stopped short of calling for her resignation.

If convicted, Mitchell could face a $35,000 fine (£28,000), 20 years in prison or both. She appeared in court on Tuesday and is next due in court on June 10. — BBC


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