Democratic Senator Nicole Mitchell Arrested Over Suspected Burglary

A Minnesota state senator was arrested this week on charges that she broke into the house of her stepmother, where she allegedly was trying to get the belongings of her late father, which included his ashes.

State Senator Nicole Mitchell, a 49-year-old Democrat, was charged with first-degree burglary. On Monday, she was booked into Becker County Jail, online jail records show.

According to Steve Todd, the police chief of Detroit Lakes, at about 4:45 a.m. on Monday, a homeowner on Granger Road called 911 to report that an active burglary was taking place.

While searching the home, officers discovered Mitchell inside. The criminal complaint said that she had a black hat on and was wearing black clothing.

Officers confiscated from Mitchell her driver’s license and Senate identification card, a black backpack that had two laptops and a cellphone, Tupperware and a flashlight that had a sock over it.

Police said that Mitchell is suspected to have entered the home through a window. She told investigators on scene that she was attempting to get back some of her father’s belongings, including photos, his ashes, a flannel shirt and some other items that had sentimental value to her.

Mitchell had claimed that her stepmother refused to give those items to her.

As the officers were arresting her, Mitchell allegedly said to her stepmother:

“I was just trying to get a couple of my dad’s things because you wouldn’t talk to me anymore.”

The criminal complaint states that one of the laptops that officers found in the backpack was actually her stepmother’s. She told the police officers that she didn’t give it to Mitchell, though the state senator said otherwise.

Mitchell has been representing District 47 in Minnesota since she was first elected to the state Senate back in 2022. She is from Woodbury.

Before winning election to the state Senate, Mitchell was once a meteorologist for a local TV station as well as Minnesota Public Radio. She also is a current lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

The Senate Democratic Caucus issued a statement to The Associated Press following the incident that said it’s “aware of the situation and has no comment pending further information.”

Republican Mark Johnson, the minority leader of the state Senate, released a statement of his own. He said the arrest shocked him, but that he wasn’t aware of more details about the incident.

In the statement, Johnson said:

“The public expects Legislators to meet a high standard of conduct. 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.”

Democrats only hold a very small one-seat majority in the state Senate, which means that Mitchell’s arrest could pose a significant problem for them. There are still four weeks left in the current legislative session.

While nothing has been decided as of yet for what will happen in the state Senate, it seems that there will be at least an empty seat for now while Mitchell’s legal situation plays out.