AUBURN — An Auburn man will spend time in prison for stealing a woman's purse in the parking lot at Wegmans. 

Earlier this year, David Mitchell was at the Auburn store when he snatched a 72-year-old woman's purse from a shopping cart. He was later found with the woman's credit card after dumping her purse and other belongings near Memorial City Hall. 

Last month, Mitchell pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, a class E felony. He also admitted to violating his probation, which he was placed on last year for possessing stolen property in Onondaga County. 

On Thursday, the 32-year-old appeared in Cayuga County Court for sentencing. Both the district attorney and Mitchell's defense attorney, Ryan Muldoon, hoped prison would treat his drug addiction, which seemed to be the root of his crimes. 

"If he doesn't take care of that, he'll end up in front of you or another judge or he'll end up dead," Muldoon said. 

Mitchell was sentenced to two to four years in prison for the larceny and one to three years in prison for the violation. Both sentences would run concurrently to one another and be served primarily as parole supervision. That would allow Mitchell to receive intense substance abuse treatment. 

Also in court

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• A Syracuse man admitted attempting to engage a 12-year-old girl in sex. 

James Soper, 46, of 4011 W. Langerwood Lane, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of second-degree attempted criminal sex act, a class E felony. During his plea, he said he arranged to meet who he thought was a preteen girl at the Fingerlakes Mall in Aurelius. He said he intended to have oral sex with a child, but police were instead waiting when he showed up at the mall. 

A former board of education member with the West Genesee Central School District, Soper could face up to four years in prison for the crime. However, in exchange for his plea of guilty, Judge Thomas Leone agreed he would sentence Soper to no worse than two years in prison and 10 year post-release supervision. 

Soper was released from Cayuga County Jail in November after posting $5,000 bail. His sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 9. 

• An Auburn man admitted violating an order of protection. 

Christopher Sweeting, 34, of 7 Rock Ave., pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree criminal contempt and aggravated family offense, both class E felonies. In court, Sweeting said he violated a full stay-away order of protection on two occasions — once in November, when he sent a text message to the protected party and again in February, when he visited her at her home. 

Sweeting could face up to eight years in prison, but will likely receive a total of two to four years incarceration. His sentencing was scheduled for July 19. 

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Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or megan.blarr@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr.