Man outran police in a chase one week before allegedly killing two in Fargo
FARGO--Fargo police officers chased Ashley Hunter on foot through a south Fargo motel a week before he allegedly killed two people in north Fargo. The officers were chasing him because before Hunter was a murder suspect, the 35-year-old was invol...
FARGO--Fargo police officers chased Ashley Hunter on foot through a south Fargo motel a week before he allegedly killed two people in north Fargo.
The officers were chasing him because before Hunter was a murder suspect, the 35-year-old was involved in a string of vehicle thefts, according to charges against him filed Friday.
The new charges--three counts of theft of property and one count of criminal trespass, all felonies--come after prosecutors filed two murder charges against him on June 24.
Fargo police officers closed in on Hunter six days before he allegedly stabbed one man more than 50 times and later bludgeoned another with a hammer.
On June 16, Officers Jacob Rued and Justin Nachatilo found Hunter along with a stolen vehicle at the Grand Inn, 3402 14th Ave. S.
When Hunter started running through the parking lot, the officers ran after him, following him through the motel, according to a charging document. Hunter evaded them and made it back to the stolen vehicle and drove off; he dumped the vehicle about 10 minutes later.
Less than an hour later, another vehicle was reported stolen: a black Dodge Ram pickup. Its owner identified Hunter as the thief, according to the charging document. Fargo police Sgt. Mark Lykken later attempted to stop the pickup, but was unsuccessful.
The vehicle would show up a few days later in connection to a north Fargo homicide.
On June 22, police responded to a north Fargo apartment. Clarence Flowers, 45, was dead inside, apparently of a homicide. Lt. Joel Vettel held a news conference to ask for the public's help in finding a vehicle of interest: a black Dodge Ram truck.
Later that evening, police discovered the truck outside a residence at 1208 1st Ave. N. They named Hunter as a person of interest in the homicide case.
Police arrested Hunter in north Fargo the next morning, after he allegedly killed another man, 24-year-old Sam Traut. On June 24, prosecutors charged Hunter with murder in the killings of Flowers and Traut.
The new charges against Hunter accuse him of stealing a car and trespassing on the car owner's property in May; stealing a second vehicle, the one police allegedly found him with at the Grand Inn, and using it from June 10 to June 16; and stealing a third vehicle, the black Dodge Ram, on June 16.
The victim of the first theft, Heath Nickel, told police that Hunter stayed with him one night in early May, according to a police report. When Nickel woke up, he kicked out Hunter and went to work.
Hunter appeared to be high on meth, Nickel allegedly told police. When Nickel returned from work, he discovered his front door kicked in, and his car keys and car missing, according to the police report. Nickel phoned Hunter, who said he would return the car in exchange for two ounces of meth, the police report states.
Nickel told police he used to provide drugs to Hunter, who would sell them.
Court records related to the murder case state that Hunter told police he had been using meth and it made him paranoid.