Man gets 20 years for murderA judge sentenced a Texas man facing a life sentence to 20 years in prison Wednesday for murdering a Dickinson man. Shane Miller, 40, pleaded guilty in January to killing 49-year-old Neal Matejovsky of Dickinson. Matejovsky was shot twice and stabbed, according to court records. His body was found in Dunn County April 10, but authorities believe he was killed March 26.
By: By Ashley Martin, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
DICKINSON, N.D. — A judge sentenced a Texas man facing a life sentence to 20 years in prison Wednesday for murdering a Dickinson man.
Shane Miller, 40, pleaded guilty in January to killing 49-year-old Neal Matejovsky of Dickinson. Matejovsky was shot twice and stabbed, according to court records. His body was found in Dunn County April 10, but authorities believe he was killed March 26.
During Wednesday’s sentencing at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson, Judge William Herauf said Miller’s criminal record includes theft, giving false information to a police officer and marijuana possession.
“When you go from those to this very cold and brutal murder, I’m puzzled as to how you go from that type of element to this, and it’s concerning,” Herauf said.
The 20-year sentence was suggested by Ross Sundeen, Dunn County state’s attorney, as part of a plea negotiation. Sundeen made the deal with Miller to get his cooperation in prosecuting another person believed to be involved in the murder.
Benjamin Robert Orf of Dickinson is believed to have stabbed Matejovsky after Miller delivered the fatal bullet, authorities said at a July hearing.
“There’s only three people that went out that day, one was murdered and the other two knew what happened,” Sundeen said after the hearing. “Ben Orf never could tell the same story twice and Shane Miller, after we completed our investigation, provided a statement to us that corroborated what we had learned and what we thought we knew, but may have had a difficult time proving without his cooperation.”
Sundeen expects Miller to testify against Orf at his trial.
Orf is reportedly Matejovsky’s former stepson. Orf has been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection to the case.
Family and law enforcement seem to be in favor of the sentence.
“Because the state has thought this through and the state feels it’s fair, under the circumstances and because of the discussion with law enforcement and the victim’s family, I’m not going to second guess the state,” Herauf said at Wednesday’s hearing in regard to the 20-year sentence. Kelly Armstrong, Miller’s attorney, said he thought the sentence was fair.
“Given everything that was involved in this case and some of the stuff that will most likely come to light in the future, this deal made sense for everybody,” Armstrong said.
In January, Sundeen said more charges would be filed against Orf in 30 days.
However, charges have not been filed and won’t be until the end of March or beginning of April, Sundeen said Wednesday. He would not say what he plans to charge Orf with.
Orf is serving his 18-month prison sentence imposed in October.
“I think today will bring us one step closer to closure for the Matejovsky family,” Sundeen said. “The state’s intent is to hold all those involved accountable and because of (Miller’s) cooperation, we should be able to do that.”
Ashley Martin is a reporter at The Dickinson (N.D.) Press, which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.