MOORHEAD, Minn. — Prosecutors have announced charges against a 17-year-old girl they say was involved in several robberies, including one that led to the fatal shooting of a taxi driver in Moorhead.
The teen, who has not been identified by authorities, has been charged with felony counts of aiding and abetting with second-degree murder, aiding and abetting with attempted aggravated robbery in the first degree, and first-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, according to the Clay County Attorney’s Office.
The charges stem from the Wednesday, May 5, shooting of 24-year-old Abdullahi Mohamed Abdullahi, a driver for the Fargo-based taxi service Doyle’s Yellow Checker Cab. Willie Alonzo Sparkman Jr., 18, and the girl called a taxi to 3015 20th St. S. in Moorhead around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to court documents.
Police believe Sparkman shot Abdullahi in the armpit with a .45 caliber handgun and fled with the teen in a car, court documents said. Abdullahi’s vehicle traveled east across 20th Street South and over railroad tracks before crashing in a ditch, police said.
Abdullahi died at the scene.
Sparkman told police he and the girl came up with a plan to rob people so they could pay rent on their shared apartment, it is alleged in court documents. Sparkman claimed he never meant to shoot the cab driver, according to the criminal complaint.
Both Sparkman and the girl have been arrested. Sparkman has been charged with felony counts of second-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
He is at the Cass County Jail pending robbery charges in connection to two incidents in Fargo. Police say he robbed two people in the hours leading up to Abdullahi’s death, including another Doyle’s taxi driver.
Charges had not been filed against Sparkman in Cass County as of Monday morning, May 10, and juvenile cases are typically exempt from North Dakota open record laws.
Sparkman is awaiting extradition to Clay County.
The teen, who is being held at the West Central Juvenile Detention Center, was present for the robberies in Fargo, court documents said. Those same court documents said the 17-year-old drove the getaway vehicle in Abdullahi’s murder.
Clay County prosecutors said they have filed a motion to move the 17-year-old’s case to adult court. Felony cases involving juveniles who are 16 years old and over are open to the public, according to Minnesota law.
The 17-year-old's case had not been made public as of Monday morning.