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Emily Welker, Published March 17 2014

Bail set at $1 million for Fargo man charged with murder; witnesses say killing linked to theft of drugs cash

FARGO – A Cass County judge set bail at $1 million Monday for a Fargo man accused of murder in a fatal stabbing near a grocery store here Friday, a killing that a witness told police is linked to a drug-related theft.

Wade Anthony Garrett, 19, appeared Monday in Cass County District Court on Class AA felony murder charges in the death of 26-year-old Rolandas Devon House.

Prosecutors received the million-dollar bail they asked for, saying the seriousness of the crime might be a reason for Garrett to flee.

Cass County prosecutor Cherie Clark said the police investigation into the murder showed that during the crime, Garrett chased the victim with his car from the parking lot of the West Acres mall to the Cash Wise grocery store parking lot, several blocks away.

According to court documents, Fargo police officers were called about 12:20 a.m. Friday to a disturbance at Cash Wise involving reckless driving.

At the scene, officers discovered House’s body about 100 yards away from one of the vehicles fitting the description in the report.

Two men, Devin Ludwig and Carlos Balboa, were detained at the scene, according to police.

Ludwig told police House stole money and marijuana from Garrett during a drug deal at West Acres.

Security footage from cameras at West Acres allegedly show a car driven by Garrett chasing a car driven by Rolandas House.

Ludwig and Balboa told police they heard a female who was at the scene with them say, “Wade just stabbed him.”

Kristine Cheever, a neighbor who lives across the street from the Cash Wise, said was awake late Friday night and had just brought her puppy in from outside about 12:25 a.m.

“I heard a male’s voice yelling very loud,” Cheever said. “It sounded like it was directly outside my window.

“This was angry or upset, very loud,” she said.

Cheever said she then heard a loud bang or crack, like the sound of a baseball hit by a bat.

Cheever said she went to bed shortly thereafter, thinking she must have been hearing things, then awoke to news coverage of the murder.

Court documents say Garrett told his employer on Friday he would no longer need health insurance because he was turning himself in on murder charges.

He then went to Minneapolis to say goodbye to his mother and grandmother before turning himself in with the help of his attorney.

A shoeprint in the mud at the scene matches those worn by Garrett, court documents say.

Garrett has been granted a public defender.

Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said no one other than Garrett faces charges in the case, but that it is still under police investigation.

Garrett’s next court appearance is set for April 16.


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