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Iowa man gets 30 years for robbing hotel, shooting at police

FARGO-An Iowa man was sentenced in U.S. District court in Fargo on Thursday, April 21, to 30 years in prison for robbing a downtown Fargo hotel and shooting at two Fargo police officers as he fled

Eric Webb enters the well at Cass County Court in Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Webb appeared for a pretrial hearing in relation to a downtown hotel robbery and officer-involved shooting in June. Nick Wagner / The Forum
Eric Webb enters the well at Cass County Court in Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Webb appeared for a pretrial hearing in relation to a downtown hotel robbery and officer-involved shooting in June. Nick Wagner / The Forum
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FARGO -- An Iowa man was sentenced in U.S. District Court here Thursday, April 21, to 30 years in prison for robbing a downtown Fargo hotel and shooting at two police officers last summer.

In sentencing Eric L. Webb, 31, Judge Ralph Erickson followed the recommendation made by federal prosecutors as part of a plea agreement.

Webb’s attorney had asked for 27½ years.

EARLIER:  Fargo police say suspect shot by police fired first; accused robber has extensive criminal history

As he fled the scene on June 4, 2015, Webb was shot and wounded by police after he robbed the Howard Johnson Inn and fired three rounds at responding officers. Webb spoke up several times during Thursday’s hearing. At one point, he said he respected the Fargo officer who shot him and forgave the officer for shooting him.

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Webb also apologized for the robbery.

“I’m sorry to the hotel people, you didn’t deserve to be robbed,” he said.

Turning toward the approximately two dozen Fargo police officers who attended the hearing, Webb said he hoped the sentence he received gave them some closure.

“They (federal officials) are going to do to me what they’re going to do to me. I hope that gives everybody peace,” Webb said.

In a letter Webb sent to The Forum shortly after the incident, he admitted he tried to rob the motel to try to get money for housing his family, then shot at police out of a desire to die rather than fail in his attempt.

Prosecutor Keith Reisenauer said Thursday that there was nothing heroic about the “three hundred measly dollars” Webb took in the robbery, or in the fact Webb tried to shoot police officers “who put their lives on the line every single day.”

“A 30-year sentence is more than appropriate,” Reisenauer said.

Webb’s attorney, Christopher Lancaster, said Webb had indicated to him many times that he feels sorry for what he did.

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“We had many conversations about the remorse he feels,” Lancaster said.

Erickson said Webb has mental health issues and has had trouble remaining law-abiding since he was a juvenile.

The judge also said the “rash and unpredictable nature” of Webb’s conduct reflected a substantial risk to the public as a whole.

 

Related Topics: CRIME
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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