Suspect pleads not guilty in two cases

The man whom two women say broke into their home with two others last month and duct taped one victim pleaded not guilty to all charges against him Thursday in Mower County Court.

James Paul Hutchinson, 30, of Austin, pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony first-degree burglary, felony kidnapping and gross misdemeanor theft. Police arrested Hutchinson on March 18 in a different incident in which people say Hutchinson acted angry, strange and threatened to burn down a house and kill someone’s cat. He pleaded not guilty to felony terroristic threats and misdemeanor assault in that case.

One of the victims in the Feb. 14 alleged home break-in said Hutchinson wore a police jacket and duct taped her while others ransacked the house. One of the suspects also yelled, “Don’t call the police. We’re the police.”

The victims said Hutchinson and the suspects stole an iPad, diamond ring and 14-karat gold chain.

Police and witnesses later linked Hutchinson to a spray painted truck and the police jacket, according to the Mower County Court complaint.

In 2012, Hutchinson was convicted of gross misdemeanor obstruction of the legal process and a felony for storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child.

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