Chesterton Tribune


Valpo man gets six years in prison for home burglary

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A Valparaiso man has been sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) after pleading guilty in connection with the burglary in April of a Valparaiso residence.

James Timothy Mullins, 48, with a listed address on Center Street, was sentenced on Thursday to eight years in DOC, two of them suspended and to be served on formal probation.

Mullins pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aiding in burglary, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years. He had originally been charged with burglary, a Class B felony punishable by a term of six to 20 years.

In exchange for his plea, a second charge against Mullins—possession of a narcotic drug—was dismissed.

In her sentencing order, Porter Circuit Judge Mary Harper made note of two aggravating factors:

•A history of criminal activity, including arrests on eight misdemeanor charges and seven felony, resulting in two misdemeanor convictions and two felony convictions. In addition, Harper stated, Mullins has violated his last three prior probation placements.

•A history of drug activity. “Despite rehabilitative programs, (Mullins) continues to commit criminal activity to get drugs,” Harper stated.

Harper also cited two mitigating factors: Mullins’ admission of guilt and his completion of a program at the Porter County Jail while awaiting disposition.

According to Valparaiso Police, on Monday, April 23, a resident who’d been out of town over the previous weekend reported the burglary of his home in the 4200 block of Oakgrove Drive and the theft of jewelry and prescription medications valued in the thousands.

Investigators traced some of the stolen items to a local pawn shop and were able to locate the subject who had pawned them. That person identified one of the burglars, Stacy Lynn Biggs, 32, also of Valparaiso, and Biggs identified Mullins as an accomplice, police said.

An additional charge of possession of a narcotic drug was filed against Mullins after he was taken into custody when heroin was found in his possession, police said. Both Mullins and Biggs were initially charged with burglary.

Investigators did succeed in recovering some of the items stolen in the burglary.


Posted 11/30/2012