7.5 years for fugitiveJacquelin Rae Mink, who was involved in a police chase and standoff in Stark County in June, pleaded guilty to two charges at a plea hearing Friday.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
Jacquelin Rae Mink, who was involved in a police chase and standoff in Stark County in June, pleaded guilty to two charges at a plea hearing Friday.
If she complies with conditions set by the court, such as five years supervised probation after her release, she will serve four-and-a-half years in prison.
Jacquelin Mink, her husband Ashton Mink, his sister Angela Mink and Joshua Southwick were arrested in June after a crime spree that began in Alabama. Authorities believe Jacquelin and Angela Mink helped Southwick and Ashton Mink break out of an Alabama prison in May.
The four fugitives were running low on cash and decided to rob a Dickinson movie store, said Tom Henning, Stark County state’s attorney, at the hearing. Jacquelin Mink drove to the store that Ashton and Angela Mink robbed and then drove them away from the scene, said Todd Schwarz, Jacquelin Mink’s attorney.
“She was aware of the planned robbery of the video store,” Henning said.
While fleeing from the scene, one of the fugitives leaned out the window of the vehicle and shot a pursuing North Dakota Highway Patrol vehicle, according to a criminal complaint. The bullet reportedly struck the windshield of the officer’s vehicle and nearly hit the trooper inside.
The fugitives then reportedly holed up in a garage near Gladstone, which led to a lengthy standoff with police. Southwick and Angela Mink surrendered eventually, according to authorities. However, Jacquelin and Ashton Mink reportedly ran out or the garage handcuffed together.
“When the officers did not shoot, Jacquelin fired a handgun that was in her hand, causing the officers to fire at both of these individuals,” Schwarz said.
Ashton Mink fired a weapon as well and was wounded by officers who fired back, Schwarz said. Ashton Mink fell, taking Jacquelin Mink down with him, because of the handcuffs, he added.
“She then picked up a pistol that had been carried by Mr. Mink, pointed to herself and shot herself,” Schwarz said. “This was an attempted suicide-by-cop.”
Jacquelin Mink faced four felony charges: attempted murder, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit murder, according to Stark County Court records.
The conspiracy to commit murder charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. The attempted murder charge was amended to reckless endangerment, which Jacquelin Mink pleaded guilty to. She also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery.
“Both of theses sentencings are pursuant to the special dangerous offender statute … which enhances the sentences by double,” Henning said. “It is specifically because of the involvement of firearms.”
Conditions of her sentence stipulate she must provide truthful information about the events that took place from the time of the escape from the jail in Alabama to the time of their arrest, Henning said. She must also testify truthfully when the other three involved have their trials, which are Jan. 13.
Jacquelin Mink will also receive credit for 175 days served.
Schwarz said Jacquelin Mink had no criminal history in any other state.
“She is a sweet young lady who made a very poor choice that snowballed beyond her —or even the other people involved in this — I think beyond what any of them expected,” Schwarz said. “This was a terrifying event for everyone.”
Schwarz and Henning said the sentence is fair.
Ashton and Angela Mink along with Southwick have a pretrial conference scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m.