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Thief River Falls man sentenced in fatal pot case

A third man was sentenced Thursday in Thief River Falls over a Pennington County pot deal gone bad a year ago that ended with a Badger, Minn., man stabbed to death.

Bryan Johnson, 21, Thief River Falls, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting robbery in the April 26, 2010, incident that resulted in the stabbing death of Matthew Sheppard.

State district Judge Jeffrey Remick sentenced Johnson on Thursday to 69 months in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Johnson, Sheppard and Kyle Tangen met Daniel 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.