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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Victims Tell the Fear They Still Feel, As St. Paul Pair Gets Prison Sentences in Carjacking Spree

A 10-day campaign of carjackings in the Twin Cities by two St. Paul residents who pled guilty left a trail of anguish in their wake.

During court hearings on Wednesday, victim impact statements from those who had been robbed revealed feelings of fear and rage.

Nautica Argue, 19, was given a term of about nine years, while Kashawn Wertman, 18, was given a sentence of slightly over 10 years.

After a chase that covered the whole metro area, Ramsey County detectives captured the duo in St. Paul in January.

Approximately 25 carjacking-related offenses were alleged to have taken place between January 7 and January 17 in St. Paul, Woodbury, Burnsville, Little Canada, Eagan, Lakeville, Roseville, White Bear Lake, St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Richfield, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Columbia Heights, and Edina.

During the virtual proceedings on Wednesday, a victim advocate from the Hennepin County attorney’s office read testimonies from victims.

One person stated in their complaint, “I am afraid to get out of my car and will not get out if someone is around me. As a result of the memories to Argue and Wertman’s assault, “I have caught myself cowering behind my car when I see automobiles approaching me as my body goes into fight or flight mode.”

Argue and Wertman both entered guilty pleas to a variety of counts of encouraging an aggravated robbery and associated offenses.

Dana Wertman, Wertman’s grandmother, stated in court prior to his sentence that Wertman had been “struggling to subsist” since he was booted out of his house when he was 15 years old. She added with tears in her eyes, “And I’m sorry because I was out there surviving, too, as a grandmother.

She said, “I realize this doesn’t justify Kashawn’s behavior. But there are causes. He’s a person, He will do time in retribution for what he did, and like the rest of us, he has learnt from his mistakes.

Wertman was given an opportunity to testify before Judge Carolina Lamas.

“I simply want to say sorry… Many individuals were impacted by this, Wertman stated while lowering his gaze. But I believe you gave me far more time than was necessary.

Another carjack victim who spoke earlier in the court claimed that unless they saw “some good from them,” they couldn’t forgive Wertman and Argue. On the day of the carjacking, the person’s more than 1,000-day streak of abstinence came to an end, and there were estimated damages of $6,000.

The guy remarked to Wertman and Argue, “You’re meant to be the faces of tomorrow, the hope of a great future for humanity.” And as things are right now, all you’ve given the world is a lot of misery, suffering, and rage.

Argue’s attorney, Gabriel Bozian, emphasized that she had no prior convictions or criminal background. He said she had graduated from high school and was pursuing certification as a barber.

I realize that what I’ve done has led to individuals having PTSD and living entirely differently than they did in the past, Argue added. I hope you may all accept my sincere apologies for whatever hurt, destruction, or suffering I may have brought on.

She didn’t have a criminal record, thus her sentence was a little lighter than Wertman’s.

Wertman and Argue were each ordered by Lamas to make almost $6,000 in reparation.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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