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2 women charged in assault of Fargo mayor's son

Hailey Berg, of Moorhead, and Kelli McLaughlin, of West Fargo, each face one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to commit simple assault in Cass County District Court.

3156747+cass county courthouse.jpg
Cass County Courthouse.
Forum file photo
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FARGO — Two women have been charged in connection with an assault and robbery of Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney's son on Oct. 4, 2021.

Hailey Marie Berg, 19, of Moorhead, and Kelli Brooks McLaughlin, 20, of West Fargo, each face one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to commit simple assault in Cass County District Court.

Both Berg and McLaughlin have pleaded not guilty to the charges and further court proceedings are pending. They each face a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.

Berg's attorney, Tanya Martinez, said: "This is very early in the process. My client is innocent until proven guilty and it would be premature to speculate on any aspect of the case at this stage of the prosecution." An attorney for McLaughlin declined to comment on the case.

According to court documents:

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Berg messaged the mayor's son, Dylan Mahoney, on Oct. 4, 2021, and asked him to hang out.

The two met later that evening when Berg picked up Dylan Mahoney and drove him to an alley in the 1400 block of 12th Street North in Fargo, where Berg parked the car.

Multiple people approached the vehicle and opened the door to the passenger seat where Dylan Mahoney was sitting and began assaulting him.

Dylan Mahoney's phone and keys were stolen during the assault.

After the attack, Dylan Mahoney and Berg went to a nearby home and borrowed a phone to call police.

The robbery was captured on video from a nearby home, confirming Dylan Mahoney's report of what happened.

Although Berg initially reported being a victim of the robbery and claimed she drove to the alley to buy marijuana, she later told police she never intended to buy marijuana but instead used that as a pretext to get Dylan Mahoney to the alley as part of a conspiracy to assault him.

Berg told police she was chosen to lure Dylan Mahoney to the alley because they had been friends in the past.

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She also told police that once her vehicle was in place she notified co-conspirators, who then robbed Dylan Mahoney.

Investigators found evidence on Berg's cellphone that she had communicated with others to rob Dylan Mahoney, according to court documents.

Also according to court records, McLaughlin told police in a phone interview that she was present during the robbery and took part in the planning of it, but she maintained she was not one of the people who put their hands on Dylan Mahoney.

The charges against McLaughlin and Berg were filed in late September. It's not clear if others may be charged in connection with the case.

Mayor Mahoney's thoughts regarding the investigation into the assault case, and his reported frustration with how long it took, have been explored in columns written by Forum News Service columnist Rob Port.

Reached by phone Friday, Tim Mahoney said the assault "was a really bad experience for my son."

The mayor said the episode helped him understand how difficult it is for any victim as far as the time it takes to yield results in some investigations. He said his family holds out hope that additional defendants will be charged.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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