Man charged with Moorhead taxi driver's murder faces robbery charge in separate incident

A complaint filed in Cass County District Court asserts Willie Sparkman Jr. committed a theft on May 4, 2021, in Cass County while menacing a woman with a knife.

Willie Alonzo Sparkman Jr.
Clay County Jail photo

FARGO — A Moorhead man who was charged last year in Clay County District Court with second-degree murder in the death of a taxi driver is now charged in Cass County District Court with robbing a woman while armed with a knife.

In the Clay County case, Willie Alonzo Sparkman Jr. was charged in May of 2021 with second-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

Court documents filed in Clay County claim Sparkman, who is now 19, fatally shot 24-year-old Abdullahi Mohamed Abdullahi, a Doyle's Yellow Checker Cab driver from Moorhead, on May 5, 2021.

A in a formal vest and button-down shirt sits in front of a brick wall.
Abdullahi Mohamed Abdullahi

Sparkman told authorities he and an unnamed female juvenile defendant needed money for rent and came up with a plan to rob people, court documents state.

Fargo police believe at least one crime that occurred in Fargo relates to that activity, including a robbery that happened the morning of May 4 in the 3100 block of 27th Street South, according to information provided by the Fargo Police Department following the incident.


In that case, a woman said she was approached by a man who pulled a knife on her and demanded money, according to Fargo police, who said the woman screamed and the assailant fled in a vehicle.

Fargo police said another robbery occurred in Fargo on May 5 in the 1900 block of 21st Avenue South. The victim in that case was a taxi driver from Doyle's, according to police, who said an attacker pulled a gun on the taxi driver. In that case, the cab worker escaped injury.

The criminal complaint filed in Clay County in May 2021 alleges a juvenile female called Doyle's for a cab and that Sparkman talked to the cab company.

Sparkman and the girl then had the cab come to an apartment complex in Moorhead, according to the court complaint, which states Abdullahi's taxi can be seen on surveillance footage driving up to the apartment complex, and Sparkman can be seen approaching the taxi.

The video then shows Abdullahi driving away and Sparkman fleeing in a red Toyota Corolla driven by the juvenile female, the complaint says.

Investigators work the scene of a homicide along the 3000 block of 20th Street South in Moorhead on Wednesday. May 5, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

Abdullahi's taxi is seen in the video driving a short distance before crashing into a ditch. Police arriving at the scene of the incident found Abdullahi dead in his taxi.

This week, a complaint was filed in Cass County District Court asserting Sparkman committed a theft on May 4, 2021, in Cass County while menacing a woman with a knife.

Sparkman, who was arrested following Abdullahi's death, remains in the Clay County Jail.

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
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