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Emily Welker, Published May 24 2013

Fargo man facing federal charges linked to bank robbery

FARGO – Federal charges have been filed against a Fargo man in connection with a Jan. 8 bank robbery at Cornerstone Bank here.

Abraham Clifford Wilson, Jr., 46, is charged in U.S. District Court in Fargo with the robbery at 2627 S. University Drive, Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Reisenauer said Thursday.

Wilson pleaded not guilty and is set for a July 30 trial.

The 46-year-old asked to withdraw his guilty plea at his sentencing hearing Monday for two felonies connected to a Clay County police chase in a stolen vehicle after the alleged bank robbery.

Wilson pleaded guilty in Clay County District Court in April to one count of receiving stolen property and one count of fleeing police in a motor vehicle, both felonies, as part of a plea agreement.

That plea deal sentenced him to 2 years, 6½ months in state prison, counting the nearly 4½ months in credit he received for jail time already served.

If he is convicted and sentenced on the federal charges, his sentence for the Clay County crimes will be served at the same time as the federal sentence, Clay County prosecutor Lori Conroy said Monday.

Wilson interrupted Clay County Judge Michelle Lawson as she got to the part of the sentence against him that remanded him to the Department of Correction, asking if the sentence guaranteed he could serve his sentence in federal prison rather than in state prison.

Lawson explained that federal and state authorities would have to work out the details of where he’d be held after he is processed in the state prison system.

When Lawson concluded reading the sentence, Wilson said it didn’t sound to him like the plea deal he’d agreed to. “I want to withdraw that plea – I’m mentally ill,” he said.

The judge told Wilson he would have to submit his request in writing, through his attorney.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541