Inmate facing 30 more years, charged with setting fire to Dixon prison cell

Sam Mitchell in August 2022

DIXON – A Chicago inmate serving 24 years for home invasion and residential burglary in Will County was charged Monday in Lee County Court with aggravated arson, accused of setting fire to a cell at the Dixon Correctional Center.

Sam Mitchell, also commonly known as Angelo Ristick, 41, is charged with aggravated arson and residential arson.

According to the charging document, on April 29, Mitchell set a fire in a cell in the restrictive housing unit while other people were present, partially damaging the building.

Aggravated arson is punishable by six to 30 years in prison, 85% of which must be served before he would be eligible for probation. Residential arson is punishable by four to 15 years, and probation is not allowed.

According to a news release from Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow:

On March 16, 2019, Mitchell burglarized homes in Shorewood.

In one instance, he entered a home belonging to an elderly man, broke into a fire safe and took various documents and credit cards. He discarded most of the victim’s property in a gas station dumpster, and video surveillance of his vehicle led officers to Mitchell.

Later that same day, he entered a home that belonged to an 80-year-old woman, told her she owed money to an unidentified man, dragged her up the stairs and rummaged through her dresser.

She was able to identify Mitchell in part based on a neighbor’s door camera footage.

Mitchell was arrested that March 21 and held on $6 million bond.

On Aug. 19, 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of home invasion, for which he was sentenced to 24 years, and to one count of residential burglary, for which he received 11 years, terms to be served concurrently.

He also has multiple convictions in Cook County, where in 2012 he was sentenced to six years for home invasion and four for residential burglary and in 2007 to three years on each of two counts for theft, and in Kane County, where he was sentenced in 2012 to a year for fraud, IDOC records show.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.