Fargo VFW robber sentenced to 4 years
A man suffering from mental illness and hepatitis C asked a judge Friday for the lightest possible sentence in a downtown Fargo robbery. Freddie Lee Baker Jr., 43, of Fargo will spend four years in prison for an Aug.
A man suffering from mental illness and hepatitis C asked a judge Friday for the lightest possible sentence in a downtown Fargo robbery.
Freddie Lee Baker Jr., 43, of Fargo will spend four years in prison for an Aug. 25 robbery at the VFW.
East Central District Judge Ralph Erickson also ordered Baker to spend six years on probation after serving the prison term.
Baker used a pellet-style rifle to rob the bar and escape with about $300.
Previously, Baker pleaded guilty to felony robbery and terrorizing charges.
"This is a sad case we hear all too often in this court," Baker's attorney, Monty Mertz, said. "He does have an alcohol problem."
Baker has a bullet fragment near his heart and a plate in his head from an assault several years ago, Mertz told the judge.
The attorney asked that the judge give Baker a four-year prison term and no probation.
"You could decide that Mr. Baker is the kind of guy we should warehouse," he said. "I don't see that."
Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Trent Mahler recommended a five-year prison term and probation for five years.
Court records show Baker had been a patron at the VFW, 202 N. Broadway, Aug. 25 and later returned with gun. Once inside, he demanded money from the bartender and pointed the gun at her.
When the bartender took money out of a cash register and gave it to Baker, she noticed the gun felt like plastic and grabbed for it.
As Baker fled toward a door, bar patron Gerald Pedriali grabbed the gun from him.
Officers arrested Baker moments later after someone at the VFW called police.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Steven P. Wagner at (701) 241-5542