State Sen. Nicole Mitchell responds after being charged with burglarizing stepmom’s home

State Sen. Nicole Mitchell responds after being charged with burglarizing stepmom’s home

State Sen. Nicole Mitchell responds after being charged with burglarizing stepmom’s home

Court documents filed Tuesday morning are shedding more light on the arrest of Minnesota Senator Nicole Mitchell (DFL-Woodbury) on Monday, and a Senate Republican leader is now considering calling for her immediate resignation.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Detroit Lakes police arrested Mitchell after being called to the 700 block of Granger Road at around 4:45 a.m. about a burglary happening in her home. When authorities responded and searched the home, they found Mitchell inside and arrested her.

Mitchell appeared in court late Tuesday morning, where a judge ordered she can be released without posting bail as long as she abides by conditions such as making future court appearances, remain law abiding, don’t leave the state with the exception of Cass County in North Dakota and traveling for official duties, among other conditions. An alternate, unconditional bail was set at $40,000.

Prosecutors said during the hearing that they don’t have any concerns about her returning for future court dates, and noted Mitchell has no priors.

Mitchell posted the following statement on her Facebook page Tuesday afternoon that reads, in part:

“Like so many families, mine is dealing with the pain of watching a loved one decline due to Alzheimer’s and associated paranoia.

“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 went on to thank her friends and colleagues for their support. She stated she hopes that the incident can return to being a “private matter.”

State Sen. Nicole Mitchell responds after being charged with burglarizing stepmom’s home

State Sen. Nicole Mitchell responds after being charged with burglarizing stepmom’s home

Bruce Rinstrom, Mitchell’s lawyer, told ABC station in Fargo WDAY that Mitchell was trying to get into the house to check on her stepmother’s welfare since she doesn’t let anyone visit.

“Ms. Mitchell actually had a key to this house because of her long-term relationship, but the relationship has essentially deteriorated because I believe, the cognitive decline of her stepmother,” he said.

“If someone is paranoid and they barricade the door, they don’t allow visitors, so that you can’t even check on their welfare, that sort of necessitates an alternative means of entry to check on things and to recover those items that she feels are appropriate and were promised and are hers,” he continued.

Two sources tell Chief Political Reporter Tom Hauser that Republican Senate leaders are considering calling for Mitchell’s immediate resignation. In addition, Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“I understand the difficult situation her family is facing, however the actions taken by Sen. Mitchell are disturbing. The complaint released by the Becker County Attorney lays out the case of a person who took extensive preparation to burglarize a family member’s home. This behavior is unbecoming of a member of the Legislature, and she needs to resign from the Senate immediately.”

Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks)

According to a criminal complaint – which is linked at the bottom of this article – a woman called police reporting a suspect, later identified as Mitchell, ran into her basement.

When police arrived, officers searched the basement and found Mitchell dressed entirely in black clothing and a black hat.

While being detained, the complaint says Mitchell told the victim that she was trying to get a couple of things belonging to her dad, who recently died, because the woman wouldn’t talk to Mitchell anymore.

Police say they also found a flashlight near Mitchell that was covered with a black sock and a black backpack stuck in a basement window. In the backpack, the complaint says officers found two laptops and a cellphone, plastic containers as well as her driver’s license and her Senate ID.

The document goes on to say Mitchell said she had “just gotten into the house” and “clearly I’m not good at this.”

While speaking with police, the complaint says Mitchell wanted various items belonging to her late father, including his ashes, however the woman who called police wouldn’t give them to her.

Mitchell then admitted to leaving her Woodbury home at 1 a.m. and driving to Detroit Lakes, as well as entering the house through the same window where the bag was found, according to the complaint.

The document goes on to say when police asked Mitchell about the laptops, she said the victim gave her the laptop “way back when” after it was opened, and the victim’s name popped up. The victim then denied giving Mitchell the laptop.

Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy also issued a statement regarding Mitchell’s arrest and charge:

“The allegations against Senator Mitchell are upsetting, for me and for anyone who has gotten to know and work with her. The behavior alleged is far outside the character she has established in the Senate and in her distinguished career in the military. We believe in due process, and Senator Mitchell has the right to a full defense of her case in court. In the coming days and weeks, Senator Mitchell must also have serious and difficult conversations with her colleagues, constituents and family.”

Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul)

Nicole Mitchell was previously a broadcast meteorologist in the Twin Cities before running for office. Mitchell is also an officer in the Air National Guard.

CLICK HERE to read the full criminal complaint.

Mitchell’s next court hearing is scheduled for the afternoon of June 10.