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Man sentenced for Walker murder

A 21-year-old Walker man has been ordered to spend 18 years in prison for fatally stabbing a man here last spring.

Sheldon James Smith received the sentence earlier this week from Judge John Smith, who is not related to the defendant. Previously, Sheldon Smith entered a guilty plea to second-degree intentional murder.

On March 21, Jason Dale Howard, 22, of Walker, died after he was transported to a Brainerd hospital with a stab wound to his upper chest.

A criminal complaint filed in the case said Sheldon Smith stabbed the victim during an encounter between two groups of individuals and then fled the scene with his companions. The complaint also said the two groups had fought previously.