The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

June 30, 2014

Man admits to 2012 burglaries

CLINTON — A man charged with ongoing criminal activity, as well as five counts each for burglary and theft, pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of third-degree burglary and one count of second-degree theft.

Cory Mitchell, 38, admitted in open court to breaking into three different locations in 2012. As part of his guilty plea to the four class D felonies, which each carry as much as five years in prison, the state of Iowa will recommend he serve as much as 10 years in prison. Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers explained that two of the charges will be served concurrent to each other, but consecutively with another pair of charges.

According to court documents, Clinton police were informed in May that the defendant broke into a house on Fifth Avenue South, which had previously caught fire. The residents were staying in a hotel at the time of the burglary. The affidavit continues that Tonya Nelson reported a burglary to her residence at 1015 Fifth Ave. South, and the theft of items valued at $2,615.

“I broke into the residence with the intent of taking some property that just didn’t belong to me,” Mitchell said in court Thursday.

He also admitted to breaking into JT Mart, located in Low Moor, in July 2012, and Hardees, 117 S. Second St., in September 2012.

According to court documents, a representative from JT Mart reported a theft of $4,097.44 in cigarettes and $681 in movies on July 12, 2012. Surveillance tape showed two men — one in a black Spiderman mask and one in a gray skull mask — in the business.

On Sept. 4, 2012, representative from Hardees reported that someone entered the business overnight and took money from an office safe, according to the affidavit. Court documents continue that the morning crew found the north door broken, the office door opened and the safe opened. Mitchell on Thursday admitted to court that he broke into Hardees with the plan of getting money from the safe and took more than $1,800 from it.

As part of the plea agreement, Mitchell will be required to provide truthful testimony and submit to a polygraph. Myers said the state will dismiss the other seven charges and no additional charges will be filed.

His sentencing is set for 9 a.m. on July 24.

Samantha Pidde can be contacted at

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