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Published May 12, 2011, 06:03 PM

TRF Man Sentenced for Role in Robbery That Resulted in Man's Stabbing Death

A Thief River Falls man was sentenced Thursday to 69 months in jail for his role in a June 2010 drug deal that resulted in the death of a Badger, MN, man.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

A Thief River Falls man was sentenced Thursday to 69 months in jail for his role in a June 2010 drug deal that resulted in the death of a Badger, MN, man.

Bryan Ray Johnson, 21, had earlier plead guilty to aiding and abetting an aggravated robbery. Thursday, judge Jeffrey Remick sentenced Johnson, who will be given credit for time served since June 2, 2010, the Thief River Falls Times reports.

Johnson was one of four men involved in an incident in rural Pennington county that resulted in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Matthew Sheppard. Thief River Falls police say they received a call April 26, 2010, from a nurse after Sheppard was dropped off at the Thief River Falls emergency room with stab wounds.

Johnson plead guilty to robbing another man involved, 20-year-old Daniel Molstad of Thief River Falls during the incident.

According to a criminal complaint, Johnson, Sheppard and Kyle Tangen met Molstad in Thief River Falls, intending to rob him over a drug deal.

The men drove Molstad into the country and assaulted him with knives, the complaint continues.

Molstad told authorities he swung his own knife in self-defense.

Authorities say Sheppard received his fatal knife wound during the fight; a grand jury failed to indict Molstad in Sheppard’s death and no one else was charged in it.

Before leaving the scene, Johnson and Tangen took marijuana from Molstad, authorities reported.

In March, Tangen was sentenced to 48 months in prison for aiding and abetting robbery.

Molstad, 20, was convicted in February of two felony drug charges and sentenced to 90 days in the Pennington County jail and five years of supervised probation.

Jaris Lane, 22, of Badger, was hidden by Johnson, Sheppard and Tangen in the vehicle’s trunk on the drive into the country but said he did not take part in the fight. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. A presentence investigation report was filed this week, and Lane’s next court hearing is scheduled for May 31.

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