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Forum staff reports, Published July 24 2012

Man run over by former landlord last year pleads guilty to stealing steel

FARGO – A West Fargo man accused of stealing $23,000 worth of stainless steel from his former employer pleaded guilty to one of two charges against him Tuesday in Cass County District Court.

Brian Hemphill, 32, entered an Alford plea to a felony burglary charge, meaning he admitted there was enough evidence for a conviction but didn’t admit guilt. A theft charge was dismissed.

Judge Steven McCullough sentenced Hemphill to a five-year prison term, which will be suspended during five years of probation, and gave him credit for 132 days served in jail since his arrest.

Hemphill also must pay $10,000 in restitution to his former employer, Standard Industries of Fargo, to cover its insurance deductible.

Hemphill was recently involved in court proceedings after being run over last year by 73-year-old Alois Vetter, his former West Fargo landlord. Vetter was sentenced to two years in prison after a jury found him guilty of felony charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. The prison term is stayed until an appeal is settled.

Hemphill suffered several broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the incident.