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Norwood-Norfolk burglary suspect allegedly bragged about ’09 school break-in

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NORFOLK — Mitchell L. Butram bragged to his girlfriend about breaking into Norwood-Norfolk Central School in 2009, according to arrest papers filed in Norfolk Town Court, even escorting her and their children back to the scene of the crime to admire his handiwork.

Fresh out of an Ohio prison after serving time for an unrelated stolen-property case in the Buckeye State, Mr. Butram was extradited to St. Lawrence County this week to face charges in connection with the school burglary more than three years ago.

Mr. Butram, 38, listed as a Colton resident, was arrested Thursday under a warrant issued by Norfolk Town Justice Donald G. Lustyik and charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and petit larceny.

Investigators said Mr. Butram smashed a window and entered the elementary wing of the school buildings at 7852 Route 56 in July 2009, causing more than $250 in damage. He then helped himself to a 27-inch Sansui television and a Sony DVD/VCR player, according to court documents. The value of those items was not indicated.

Elaina M. McMillen, who then lived with Mr. Butram, told investigators she questioned her boyfriend the night he returned home with electronics under his arm and a bleeding hand. He initially declined to reveal their provenance but, once Ms. McMillen was finished tending his wounds, he admitted he had broken into the school, she wrote in a deposition.

“I then yelled at him and told him he was nuts and that his kid went to that school,” Ms. McMillen wrote. “Mitchell was happy about stealing the things from the school.”

So happy, it seems, that he reportedly wanted his family to see what he had done.

“That night of the larceny Mitchell wanted to go show me where he had broken in,” Ms. McMillen wrote. “I did not go that night but the next day Mitchell and I walked over to the school with our kids.”

There, she told investigators, Mr. Butram pointed out plywood covering the broken window he’d entered and described how he had tried to wipe his blood off the shattered glass.

The couple broke up soon afterward, Ms. McMillen told investigators.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Detective Thomas H. Caringi said that officials extradited Mr. Butram from Ohio on Wednesday after he finished serving a 14-month sentence for felony possession of a stolen handgun. Mr. Caringi said he believed Mr. Butram had been visiting a relative in Ohio at time of his arrest there.

An official with the Ashland County Clerk of Courts Office in Ohio said Friday that records listed charges against Mr. Butram of receiving stolen property and improper handling of a firearm, but referred questions about the case to the Ashland County Prosecutor’s office. A message left with that office was not returned Friday afternoon.

Mr. Butram was arraigned before Justice Lustyik and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond to await further proceedings.

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