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Man sentenced for Walker murder

WALKER – 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.

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.

At the time, Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said deputies responded to a report of a stabbing about 10:15 p.m. in the Onigum area of Leech Lake. Howard was stabbed during an encounter with a group of men near his home.

 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.

The Sheriff’s Office and Leech Lake Tribal Police Department investigated the incident.