Elkhart man gets jail time for Edwardsburg break-in

Published 5:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — An Elkhart man who broke into a home under construction in Edwardsburg was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to a year in jail.

Michael Steven Mullins, 23, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building with intent to commit larceny and third-degree fleeing police and was sentenced to 365 days in jail with credit for 163 days served, $1,676 in fines and costs and $1,650 in restitution.

The incident occurred Jan. 21 in Edwardsburg. Police were called when the property owner saw that someone was breaking into their new home on a camera placed at the house. Mullins fled the scene in a vehicle at a high rate of speed, crashed the car and then on foot.

Mullins is also facing charges of domestic battery with a child present in Elkhart where he is currently in jail. The Cass County jail sentence can be served in any correctional facility.

Cass County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Funk said the property owners are now afraid to move into their new home. “The victim said he and his wife and family are afraid to move into their house,” he said. “A person’s house should be a sanctuary.”

Funk noted that Mullins had originally been given the chance to serve a probation term in the Adult Treatment Court but absconded from the Twin County Community Probation Center.

Defense attorney Nicholas Hogue said Mullins had acknowledged his wrongdoing. “He was in a situation where he was dealing with a drug addiction,” he said. “He acknowledges that he left the treatment center and he wants to move forward.”

Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said the explanation given by Mullins and the passenger in the car that they were there to pick up tools that had been left. “That doesn’t make sense, you wouldn’t flee if you were there legitimately,” he said. “You finally admitted that you were there to steal a Bobcat.”

The judge noted that Mullins has two felony convictions plus a probation violation in Elkhart County. “You’re digging yourself a pretty big hole,” he told Mullins. “You absconded from Twin County and also have charges in Indiana. That shows you’re not a good candidate for community probation.”