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Published July 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

Degidio receives sentence in 2008 kidnapping

The former Moorhead man who kidnapped a Fargo woman and shot at police in early 2008 wanted officers to kill him, his attorney said Monday.

By: Kelly Smith, INFORUM

The former Moorhead man who kidnapped a Fargo woman and shot at police in early 2008 wanted officers to kill him, his attorney said Monday.

“(He) really had no malice for this police officer, but he did commit the crime,” said Clay County public defender Bruce Ringstrom.

As a result, Vincent Degidio Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to charges of attempted murder and aggravated robbery.

However, the 29-year-old found out he won’t serve any additional time after a simultaneous federal sentence is up.

In March, he pled guilty in Fargo’s U.S. District Court to firearms and kidnapping charges and was given a sentence of 29 years in prison.

His 24-year Minnesota sentence, though, will run concurrent to his nearly 29-year federal sentence.

“It’s good to have it closed and done with here,” said Clay County Attorney Brian Melton. “It’s kind of the final chapter.”

But it’s not the final chapter for Degidio, who was shot and suffered severe physical injuries during the 2008 shootout with police.

Melton said his injuries will jail him long after his court sentences are up.

“He’s got a prison within a prison; he’s going to be a paraplegic for the rest of his life,” Melton said.

Degidio, who’s been held in a North Carolina federal prison since his March sentencing, appeared Monday in an empty conference room via interactive TV.

When Clay County District Court judge Lisa Borgen asked if he had a statement to give before his sentencing, he declined.

Ringstrom stressed, though, that his client’s intent was never to hurt officers; he had hoped to be killed by them – an act Borgen called a “really selfish thing.”

“Those are guys out there every day trying to keep our community safe,” she added.

Before shooting at police, Degidio abducted a 23-year-old Fargo woman, forcing her at gunpoint to drive to Moorhead, where he threatened to rape and kill her. She escaped and ran into O’Reilly Auto Parts store, where Degidio followed her and pistol-whipped her before robbing the store.

It was then that he fired at officers responding to the scene. He fled on foot until officers tracked him down in a neighborhood where they shot him twice.

Moorhead police weren’t present to give a statement at Monday’s sentencing, but Melton said “they’re satisfied with the outcome; they’ve moved on.”

It was a sentiment echoed by the female victim, Melton added. “She’s satisfied with the plea and the fact that she can move on with her life.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515

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