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UPDATE: Murder Suspects Arrested in VC

April 4, 2014

Left to right: Arlen Clapper, Tamara Clapper and Alexander Clapper.

A man and his two adult children, all wanted for their role in a South Fargo murder, were arrested in Valley City late Thursday.

Arlen Clapper, 46; Tamara Leigh Ann Clapper, 22; and Alexander Dean Clapper, 19; all of Moorhead, Minn., were arrested on warrants from Fargo for the murder of Rolandas Devon House, 26, in a South Fargo parking lot on March 14. The three are being charged with class AA felony murder. Felony murder is murder that is committed during the commission of another felony.

According to Lieutenant Joel Vittel of the Fargo Police Department, in the early morning hours of March 14, House's body was discovered in the parking lot of a strip mall adjacent to the South Fargo Cash Wise. House had been stabbed to death.

On March 15, Wade Garrett, was arrested for the crime. He plead guilty Thursday to murder.

According to Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes in a Friday press conference, investigators believe the Clappers were associates of Garrett and that they were present during the murder.

"We believe they were all cooperating in a felony and as a result of that, somebody died." said Birch Burdick, Cass County State's Attorney. "We believe they were working on a robbery and that robbery ended up leading to a death.

"We are not alleging that the other three held the knife in their hand that killed Rolandas House."

During the course of the investigation, Fargo police learned the Clappers may be in Valley City, according to Ternes. After contacting local authorities, who located the Clappers, the arrests were made on West Main Street by the Fargo Police Department, the Moorhead Police Department, the Valley City Police Department, the Barnes County Sheriff's Office, and the Stutsman County Narcotics Task Force.
In addition to felony murder charges, Alexander Clapper was also charged with delivery of narcotics, a class B felony.

If convicted, the Clappers all face life in prison without possibility of parole. Alexander Clapper faces an additional 10 years for the narcotics charge.

According to Burdick, his office recommended Garrett serve 25 years with one year suspended because he cooperated with officials during the course of the investigation.

While the investigation is ongoing, and officials would likely need to speak to other people regarding the case, the public is not in danger.

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