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Fargo students face felony charges

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Fargo students face felony charges
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Two Fargo South High School students are facing felony charges in connection with an alleged March robbery at the school.

The 18-year-old students, along with a 17-year-old student, are accused of putting another student in a choke hold, stealing $5 from his wallet and threatening to kill him if he told police.

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The students told a school resource officer they were just kidding around with the other student and wrestling around with each other in the locker bays.

Cass County prosecutors have charged Archee G. Soe and David Witherspoon with Class B felony conspiracy to commit robbery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The 17-year-old student involved has been referred to juvenile court.

Fargo Schools Assistant Superintendant Lowell Wolff said Friday he cannot release whether the individuals are still enrolled at the school because that is part of their disciplinary record, protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

Court documents state:

School Resource Officer Chris Potter received a tip via a text message at 11:05 a.m. March 12 from an 18-year-old male student who was seeking help and claiming someone stole money from him.

The student told Potter he was putting items into his locker when three students - the juvenile, Soe and Witherspoon - pulled his arms behind his back, put a reverse choke hold on him, dug through his pants pocket, took his wallet and removed $5 from it.

The student was shaking and very upset as he spoke, saying he was afraid because Soe threatened him after he said he would tell the police.

The student said Soe told him, "We will kill you if you tell police."

The three students told Potter the incident was just horseplay and joking around. When asked about the incident, Witherspoon gave Potter a crumpled $5 bill and initially said he had found it.

Witherspoon then admitted that it may have come from the student's wallet, which he said Soe removed from the student's pocket.

Cass County prosecutor Ryan Younggren said the amount of money alleged to have been stolen does not impact the severity of the charge.

"It was just really a thing of value," said the assistant state's attorney. "It didn't necessarily mean that they had taken a bunch of money from him."

Witherspoon has appeared in court on the charge and is set to appear again June 4. His attorney did not return a message seeking comment Friday.

A phone number listed in court documents for Soe was not in service.

Soe has not yet made an appearance.

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