A Grand Forks man who eluded police in June 2019 after striking a taxi driver in the face with a handgun continues to maintain his innocence, but has admitted the state has enough evidence to convict him of the crime.

Nicaise Borgia Adjobi, 26, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but eight suspended as part of a plea agreement on Monday, June 1, when he submitted an Alford plea for robbery. He also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

A charge of aggravated assault was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Adjobi entered a taxi cab through the passenger door around 4:35 a.m. June 5, 2019, on the 500 block of Oak Street, as the driver waited for a customer, according to court documents. Adjobi then pulled a gun on the driver and ordered him to "give it up." He struck the driver in the face multiple times with the gun, resulting in injuries including bruising, a broken nose and multiple lacerations, according to court documents. The driver drove away with Adjobi still partially in the vehicle, before Adjobi fled on foot. No money was taken as part of the robbery, according to court documents.

Police attempted to track Adjobi with a K9 unit, but were unable to find him. After statements and recorded conversations identified Adjobi as a suspect, a search was conducted on his residence, where police located clothing and a handgun with what was believed to be Adjobi's DNA.