Minn. Lawmaker Allegedly Burgled Stepmom’s Home to Steal Father’s Ashes: 'Clearly I’m Not Good at This'

State Sen. Nicole Mitchell allegedly told officers that she was attempting to recover items that belonged to her father, who died recently, and that her stepmom refused to speak with her

<p>Steve Karnowski/AP</p> Sen. Nicole Mitchell

Steve Karnowski/AP

Sen. Nicole Mitchell

A Minnesota state senator was charged with felony first-degree burglary after allegedly breaking into her stepmother's home to steal some of her late father's belongings, including his ashes.

The lawmaker, Democratic state Sen. Nicole Mitchell of Woodbury, Minn., was charged on April 23, the day after she was arrested on suspicion of burglary in Detroit Lakes, as previously reported by CBS News, the Star Tribune and the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

A police officer was dispatched to Mitchell’s stepmother’s residence around 4:45 a.m. on April 22 after receiving a call reporting a break-in, according to a complaint obtained by the Star Tribune. Her stepmom was in the home at the time.

Upon arrival, the officer allegedly located Mitchell, 49, in the basement of the home, per the complaint. She was subsequently arrested and booked into Becker County Jail.

While she was being detained, Mitchell reportedly said, “I was just trying to get a couple of my dad's things because you wouldn't talk to me anymore," per the complaint.

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<p>Becker County Jail</p> Nicole Mitchell's mugshot, taken in Becker County Jail

Becker County Jail

Nicole Mitchell's mugshot, taken in Becker County Jail

Mitchell was allegedly discovered wearing head-to-toe black, including a hat. Also found in the basement was a flashlight covered with a black sock, seemingly “modified so as to control the amount of light emitting," per the complaint.

Authorities also discovered a black backpack stuck in a basement window, which Mitchell allegedly later admitted was how she entered the home.

The bag contained two laptops, a cell phone, “miscellaneous Tupperware,” and Mitchell’s driver’s license and Minnesota Senate identification.

According to the complaint, Mitchell later claimed that the laptops were both hers, stating that she had "just gotten into the house," and noting, “Clearly I'm not good at this.”

One of the laptops displayed her stepmother’s name, and Mitchell claimed that she had been given the computer “way back when,” per the complaint. Her stepmom said that was a lie.

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Mitchell told officers that she was attempting to recover items that belonged to her father, who died recently, and said her stepmom refused to give her the items or speak with her following an argument.

The items she wished to recover, she said, were “pictures, a flannel shirt, ashes, and other items of sentimental value,” per the complaint.

While in police custody, an officer asked the lawmaker what got her “to this stage,” and she allegedly indicated that it was the ashes.

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During her April 23 court appearance, which she joined via Zoom from jail, Mitchell's bail was set at $40,000, but she was released without bail on her own recognizance provided she follow a set of conditions, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the outlet, the conditions included not contacting her stepmother and adhering to a restraining order approved by the judge.

She is also allowed to leave the state when required for her official duties as a senator and travel to Cass County, N.D., without permission.

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