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Jury finds man guilty of aggravated robbery in knifepoint theft

WILLMAR -- A jury found Mowalid Muse Hirsi, 25, of Willmar, guilty on Thursday of aggravated robbery for robbing a man at knifepoint in November.

The verdict came after a one-day trial in Kandiyohi County District Court. He will be sentenced March 8.

The charges were filed after a man called police around 2:40 a.m. Nov. 8 from the area of Ella Avenue and Seventh Street Northwest and reported he had been robbed at knifepoint. Officers responded and the man told them Hirsi offered him a ride home from a local establishment and while driving across town, demanded money from him while pressing a knife into his stomach.

The man said he handed over cash, a total of $102, grabbed some documents from the dash of the car and ran away.

While he was reporting this to officers, they observed a vehicle nearby matching the description given by the man. The driver, Hirsi, was identified by the man as the individual who robbed him.

Officers noticed signs of alcohol consumption by Hirsi, who was arrested and taken to the Law Enforcement Center. His blood-alcohol level was 0.13. During an interview with officers, he claimed the man gave him the $100 to buy cocaine from an apartment building on the city's southeast side.

A search of Hirsi's vehicle revealed a knife, with a four-inch blade, in the center console.

Hirsi pleaded guilty to one driving while impaired charge on Jan. 21 and was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with 295 stayed and 70 days staggered over the next two years, and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, serve three years of probation and submit to electronic alcohol monitoring.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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