A North Dakota man was found guilty recently in federal court. Though he did not specifically face weapons charges, he was found to have used a Samurai sword to kill his life-long friend. He ultimately pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to serve six years in prison. The sentence could have been as much as 78 months.

According to a report, the man was involved in a fight with the victim just before the incident in Lame Deer. The duo had been friends for years, and both appear to have had long criminal histories. Much of the contact with police had come as a result of drug use, authorities noted.

On the night of the incident, the now-convicted man and victim used meth and other drugs, according to a report. The fight that led to the death started at one residence and, over the course of the evening, ended in another. The victim was stabbed in the chest with the three-foot sword. When police arrived at the scene, the victim was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries. That led the criminal charges and the man’s recent guilty plea. 

Weapons charges, drug accusations and violent crimes are treated seriously in North Dakota criminal courts, as elsewhere. When an individual is accused of such a crime, it can be both frightening and confusing. The potential consequences mandate that a focused defense be prepared and presented in court. As was the case here, there are often multiple sides to every story. To ensure that the best result can occur, it is typically best to secure the assistance of a savvy defense attorney to preserve crucial legal rights and fight for an optimal result.

Source: billings gazette.com, “North Dakota man gets prison for killing friend with samurai sword“, Clair Johnson, June 15, 2017