Deadly drug robbery was 16-year-old’s plan, court docs allege

Men involved with James Moore's death
Men involved with James Moore's death(VNL)
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 1:08 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Newly filed court documents are shedding light on the drug deal gone wrong that led to the shooting of a 16-year-old boy, and put four men behind bars in connection to his murder.

31-year-old Marcus Rexrode, 19-year-old Fabian Scott, and 41-year-old Marcus McCuin are all facing a murder charge in the death of James Moore, and additional weapons or drug-related charges. 36-year-old Tommie Trent is charged with a felony count of conspiracy to deliver marijuana with a firearm.

Police were called shortly before 11:30 p.m. on May 22 in the 4400 block of 9th Ave. S., where officers say they found Moore with a gunshot wound and a gun lying on the ground next to him.

Court documents say the teen victim had been staying with Scott off and on recently as he had been kicked out of his home by his mother. Scott told investigators Moore talked about his plan to use a gun he had recently stolen to rob Moore’s stepdad of his marijuana, but Scott says eventually that plan changed to robbing Marcus Rexrode instead.

Moore set up the drug deal, according to court documents, and Scott says he didn’t know the details of how much marijuana or money was going to be exchanged. Scott says his role was to be the lookout and McCuin was the transportation. For their help in the robbery, court documents say Scott was to get seven grams of weed, and McCuin was to get some as well.

Despite McCuin’s claims to investigators he didn’t know about the robbery plan, Scott stated McCuin provided him with a gun for the deal, according to court documents. Court documents say McCuin told investigators he was trying to buy $20 worth of marijuana for his own personal use the night of the shooting with Moore and Scott.

Rexrode told investigators he agreed to meet with Moore and provide him with five ounces of marijuana for $900. Documents say Rexrode did not have enough marijuana on hand to cover Moore’s request, so he asked Trent for help both with supply and for a ride.

According to court documents, Rexrode told detectives several different versions of what happened. Ultimately, Rexrode told officers when he and Moore met up on May 22, he asked Moore for the money. That’s when Moore pointed a gun at him and said, “Up your s***,” documents allege. Rexrode said he took this to mean Moore was robbing him. Documents say Rexrode took out his gun and soon after Scott started shooting at him. Rexrode said he then shot multiple times at Moore as he ran away. Moore fell to the ground, but he then jumped up and ran toward the Twin Parks apartment complex, documents state.

McCuin told investigators he never left his vehicle during the shooting and didn’t see what happened, court documents state.

Scott told investigators he and McCuin eventually left and went home, and waited for Moore to come back. Scott said he didn’t know Moore had been shot until detectives showed up at the house the next morning.

Affidavits in Trent’s case have not yet been unsealed as of this publication. A judge set Trent’s bond at 10 percent of $25,000 Thursday morning. Scott, Rexrode and McCuin are scheduled to be in court for the first time at 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.