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Forum staff reports, Published October 07 2010

Getaway driver in Fargo store robberies sentenced to probation, time served

A 33-year-old accused of being the getaway driver in two Fargo store robberies last year pleaded guilty to one charge on Thursday in Cass County District Court.

Jeremy Leopold admitted he was the driver in the July 6, 2009, robbery at Empire Liquors West at 4861 13th Ave. S.,, pleading guilty to a count of being an accomplice to a robbery.

He was sentenced to the 429 days he has been in jail since his arrest and was also given about 10 months of supervised probation. He owes $400 in restitution.

Prosecutors dropped a second count linked to a robbery on July 19, 2009, at a Stop-N-Go at 3216 12th Ave. N. Leopold said in court he wasn’t there at the time.

Michael Allan Hanson, the man Leopold drove to and from the liquor store, pleaded guilty on Dec. 31 to both robberies, getting five years in prison and a five-year stint of probation.

Court records indicate Leopold may be a witness for the prosecution in the murder trial for Michael Nakvinda, who’s accused of killing Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso, but his sentencing order makes no mention of testifying, attorneys for the defense and the state said.