Documents help Davis obtain license
A convicted sex offender used an Indiana birth certificate and driver's license to obtain a North Dakota license in his brother's name. The state issued a license to fugitive 33-year-old William Carl Davis after properly checking for authentic do...
A convicted sex offender used an Indiana birth certificate and driver's license to obtain a North Dakota license in his brother's name.
The state issued a license to fugitive 33-year-old William Carl Davis after properly checking for authentic documents, said Marsha Lembke, director for the state Department of Transportation's driver license and traffic safety division.
His neighbors, employer and teen workers for Davis' general contractor business knew him as Mark Allen Davis.
William Davis of Wadesville, Ind., lived on the lam in the Fargo-Moorhead area until two women recognized him as a sexual predator featured Oct. 4 on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
FBI agents arrested Davis on Thursday on a federal warrant and Fargo police received his consent Friday to search his north Fargo apartment.
Karie Miller of Fargo and Jean Rosenthal of Moorhead verified Davis as the man listed on the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives list and profiled on Winfrey's show last week. They left Fargo on Monday for appearance on Winfrey's live show today and on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday.
Winfrey's production company, Harpo Productions Inc., offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of several fugitives.
A Harpo representative declined to comment on the reward Monday because it may be addressed on today's show.
Davis lived in the Fargo-Moorhead area since August 2004, according to Dave Harmon, who employed Davis as a maintenance man at six area rental properties.
Davis also had three brushes with police - including a Sept. 17 crash when his bicycle collided with a car and he broke his leg - during his stay.
Davis and another man, 50-year-old Niles Scott of Ohio, were arrested within two days of the show's broadcast. Authorities arrested Scott after a tip led them to Belize City, Belize.
North Dakota uses a checklist when out-of-state residents apply for a license. At least two pieces of authentic identification must be used to obtain a license, along with a successful background check, Lembke said.
The state implemented stringent standards after 9/11 to address security concerns, she said.
"We have the right pieces in place" to meet the concerns, Lembke said. "We really think we have it down. ... We will have to be even more vigilant now."
At least two other North Dakota licenses have been issued to people who couldn't legally obtain them. Former Gardner, N.D., resident Dennis Gaede received one of them, but Lembke couldn't recall the name of the other person who obtained one.
Gaede stole Timothy Wicks' identity to obtain a license, embezzle money from his employer and buy a house in Gardner. He now faces murder charges in Cass County for Wicks' death.
A record check on the license Davis obtained showed no violations and a 2008 expiration date. A message for Mark Davis in Evansville, Ind., was not returned Monday.
Indiana prosecutors filed 10 felony child molestation charges last year against William Davis. He also served 28 months in prison after a 1992 conviction on two molestation charges.
On Friday, Fargo police removed a few boxes of items during a search of Davis' apartment.
Lt. Tod Dahle said no notable items were found during the search, but contents of a computer and tapes will be analyzed.
Fargo police plan to forward a report to the Cass County state's attorney's office for review. The report could result in charges for failing to register as a sex offender, a misdemeanor on the first offense in North Dakota, and obtaining a false driver's license, Dahle said.
Moorhead police aren't investigating Davis' ties to the community, Moorhead Police Lt. Bob Larson said.
At a court hearing Friday, Davis told a Cass County judge he would not waive extradition to Indiana until talking with an attorney.
Judge Steven McCullough set bail for Davis at $1 million cash. Davis remains in the Cass County Jail. His next court date is set for Nov. 3.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Steven P. Wagner at (701) 241-5542