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Teenager receives 12 years in prison for mall parking lot attack

FARGO - An 18-year-old Fargo man was sentenced Monday, Oct. 31, in Cass County District Court to 12 years in prison in a robbery case stemming from an attack in the parking lot of the West Acres Shopping Center in September 2014. Abdirahman Sahel...

In this file photo, Abdirahman Sahel appears in Cass County Court for a hearing on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. David Samson / The Forum
In this file photo, Abdirahman Sahel appears in Cass County Court for a hearing on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. David Samson / Forum News Service

 

FARGO – An 18-year-old Fargo man was sentenced Monday, Oct. 31, in Cass County District Court to 12 years in prison in a robbery case stemming from an attack in the parking lot of the West Acres Shopping Center in September 2014.

Abdirahman Sahel was convicted during a trial in September of robbery, attempted kidnapping, terrorizing, and simple assault for attacking a female mall employee who was getting into her car when she was attacked.

Kara Schmitz Olson, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney, recommended a sentence of 14 years, arguing that Sahel threatened the victim with words and a weapon.

Sahel’s attorney, Stormy Vickers, said the state’s recommended sentence was unwarranted, and instead suggested to Judge Tom Olson that a five-year sentence was more appropriate.

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Vickers cited Sahel’s age and said that just because his client had made bad choices didn’t mean “he can’t come back from this.”

Olson said Sahel’s age gave him pause when he considered what kind of sentence to hand down. He said that even though Sahel was an orphaned refugee who had almost no one looking out for him, he nonetheless traumatized the victim and deserved punishment.

“You did leave a mark that day,” Olson told Sahel.

Separately, Sahel is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday, Nov. 8, in a case in which he is accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in the parking lot of the Fargo Holiday Inn in August 2013.

Related Topics: CASS COUNTYCRIME
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