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Browning man gets 27 years in federal prison for killing

July 22, 2021 GMT

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Browning man who pleaded guilty to killing a man on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and later holding a woman hostage at knifepoint has been sentenced to nearly 27 years in federal prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.

Jason Avery Mattson, 30, pleaded guilty on March 30 to second-degree murder and kidnapping. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced him Wednesday to 26 years and eight months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

The victim’s body was found on a remote part of the northern Montana reservation on March 3, 2020. The Glacier County coroner said the victim had been decapitated and both of his hands were cut off at the wrists, the Flathead Beacon has reported. The victim is identified only as John Doe in court records.

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A week after the body was found, Mattson called Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services to confess, prosecutors said. When officers arrived at his residence, he said he had taken a hostage and planned to kill her because he “liked to kill,” court records said.

She was able to escape after four hours and Mattson was arrested.

While the case was being investigated, a witness said he’d asked the victim for a ride in late February 2020 and the man’s final stop was Mattson’s trailer. The victim had shown the witness a large bag of methamphetamine before getting out of the car and seemed scared, the witness said.

At the time of the killing, Mattson was on federal probation after serving four years in prison for assault with a dangerous weapon. According to the plea agreement in that case, Mattson shot a man in the neck in June 2013 as the man fought with Mattson’s brother. Mattson also fired shots at the man later as he hid in some trees, court records said.