Jamestown woman pleads not guilty in murder of Somali refugee
By: BY KATIE RYAN-ANDERSON, The Jamestown Sun
A Jamestown woman pleaded not guilty in the murder of an 18-year-old Somali refugee Monday in Southeast District Court in Jamestown.
Twenty-two-year-old Janelle Cave of Jamestown is accused of murder and criminal conspiracy in the April 30 death of Abdi Ali Ahmed. Murder and criminal conspiracy are both Class AA felonies.
Cave waived her preliminary hearing Monday. Preliminary hearings are held to determine probable cause, meaning reason to believe a crime was committed and reason to believe a defendant committed it.
Judge James Hovey said Cave has the right to either a trial by jury or a trial by the court. Judge Thomas Merrick has been assigned to the trial. A date has not been set.
Ahmed’s body was found in a ditch near Spiritwood, N.D., the morning of April 30. Officials said Ahmed died of a blunt force head injury.
Also charged in the murder is Leron “Ra Ra” Howard, 34, Jamestown. He pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing on July 7.
Both Howard and Cave are in custody at the Stutsman County Corrections Center. Each is held on a $450,000 bond.
A Class AA felony is punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment without parole.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org