DFL senator charged with felony burglary after allegedly breaking into stepmom’s home

"I know I did something bad," Sen. Nicole Mitchell allegedly told responding officers after reportedly breaking into the home to retrieve her late father's belongings, a court document says.

Nicole Mitchell/Becker County Jail

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Minnesota district court accuses Democratic Minnesota Sen. Nicole Mitchell of committing first-degree burglary in Becker County.

The first-term Woodbury senator was arrested early Monday morning in Detroit Lakes after a homeowner reported a burglary.

According to the complaint, officers arrived at a Detroit Lakes home after receiving a call that “somebody had broken into a residence.” Upon arriving at the residence, officers found the adult female who reported the incident, and that adult female said the suspect was in the basement, the probable cause statement says.

When the officers searched the basement, they found Mitchell dressed in black clothing and wearing a black hat, the court filing says. Additionally, the statement of probable cause states that a flashlight was found nearby which was “modified so as to control the amount of light emitting from the flashlight.”

Mitchell was placed under arrest, the court filing says. While detained, Mitchell reportedly addressed the adult female who reported the incident, saying, “I was just trying to get a couple of my dad’s things because you wouldn’t talk to me anymore,” the complaint says.

The document also states that officers found a backpack which contained Mitchell’s driver’s license, Senate identification, a cellphone, two laptops, and Tupperware.

After being read her Miranda rights, Mitchell reportedly said, “I know I did something bad.” The probable cause statement also says Mitchell explained that her father had recently passed away, and her stepmother, the adult female who reported the incident, had cut off contact with her and other family members.

Mitchell said she was seeking several items related to her late father including pictures, a flannel shirt, and her father’s ashes, according to the court document. When a police officer questioned Mitchell at the county jail about what got her “to this stage,” the Woodbury senator “indicated that it was her father’s ashes,” the court document says.

A police officer also questioned Mitchell about the laptops, according to the court document. The probable cause statement says an officer presented one of the laptops to Mitchell, the Woodbury senator pressed a button on the laptop, and her stepmother’s name popped up on the screen.

The court filing says Mitchell claimed she was given the laptop “way back when.” However the stepmother reportedly told a police officer that she “did not give a laptop to Mitchell,” the probable cause statement says.

The complaint indicates Mitchell told police that she left the Twin Cities around 1 a.m. Her arrest occurred around 4:45 a.m.

The senator’s first court appearance was scheduled for today at 11:00 a.m.

Under Minnesota state statute, first-degree burglary is a felony. If the dwelling is occupied, that first-degree burglary carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail or the county workhouse. The maximum sentence is up to 20 years in prison, a $35,000 fine, or both.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.