Moorhead man sentenced to 10 years in connection with Fargo slaying
FARGO - A Moorhead man charged in connection with a murder during a setup drug deal in March near a supermarket here pleaded guilty Tuesday in Cass County District Court.
FARGO – A Moorhead man charged in connection with a murder during a setup drug deal in March near a supermarket here pleaded guilty Tuesday in Cass County District Court.
Arlen Dean Clapper, 47, was one of four people, including his daughter and son, charged with felony Class AA murder for their involvement in the stabbing of Rolandas Devon House, 26, by Wade Anthony Garrett near the south Fargo Cash Wise on March 14.
Arlen Clapper was sentenced to 10 years with one year suspended in a plea deal negotiated between the prosecution and the defense, who gave differing accounts of his involvement.
Cass County Prosecutor Tristan Van de Streek said the murder stemmed from a marijuana deal gone bad at West Acres mall on March 13, when House robbed Garrett and Alexander Clapper, Arlen Clapper’s son.
The next day, Tamara Clapper arranged for a phony drug deal with House at Cash Wise to help her brother and Garrett get the stolen money back. Her father, Arlen Clapper, went along in his vehicle when it came time for Garrett to meet House, Van de Streek said.
The prosecution and the defense disagreed on what happened after Arlen Clapper got to Cash Wise.
Van de Streek said Arlen Clapper chased down House with his vehicle and received money from Garrett after Garrett stabbed House.
Clapper’s attorney Charles Sheeley denied those claims.
“He wasn’t there when the … homicide was taking place,” Sheeley told the judge. “He realized what had happened after the fact.”
“He disputes ever taking money,” Sheeley said, though he added that his client took a cellphone Garrett offered him after the stabbing.
Garrett pleaded guilty on April 4 to felony murder and said he took $28 from House’s pockets after killing him and gave the cash to Arlen Clapper.
Van de Streek said he did not think Arlen Clapper knew House was going to be killed when he drove to Cash Wise.
“He probably did not know that this could end in a murder,” Van de Streek said.
Arlen Clapper is the third person in the case to plead guilty to felony murder. Garrett began a 25-year prison term in April and Tamara Clapper began a 10-year sentence in May after both entered guilty pleas.
Alexander Clapper pleaded not guilty in May. His next court date is Aug. 13.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Adrian Glass-Moore at (701) 241-5599