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New plea deal reached for Billings man in decapitation case

Posted at 11:11 AM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 19:58:21-05

BILLINGS – One of two men accused of decapitating a man they met at a Billings casino in 2017 has accepted a new plea deal and agreed to testify against his codefendant.

Jeffrey Glen Haverty, 35, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide.

Haverty and Donald Ray Cherry, 33, are accused of killing Myron Wesley Knight in October of 2017.

Court documents show Haverty withdrew his previous plea agreement.

The previous agreement recommended Haverty spend at least 50 years in the Montana State Prison, and a maxium of 110 years.

The new agreement recommends a sentence of 70 years at the Montana State Prison, with 20 years suspended.

Haverty agreed to give details about the circumstances surrounding Cherry’s charges and testify against him.

Cherry has been charged with deliberate homicide with a weapons enhancement, tampering with witnesses and informants, intimidation, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Haverty and Cherry were both booked at the Yellowstone County jail on Nov. 18, 2017, on a charge of deliberate homicide.

The body of 41-year-old Knight was found beheaded and wrapped in a carpet in West Billings on Nov. 15.

Myron Knight

A pair of trappers were scouting the area near Gabel Road and South 32nd Street West when they discovered the body.

While the initial autopsy report said Knight likely died of blunt force trauma, the state medical examiner says it is more likely than not he was still alive when he was decapitated.

According to court documents, the two men met Knight at Montana Lil’s Casino, where Knight was a regular customer in late October.

Before he left the casino with the two men, Knight told staff to hold on to his winnings, $120, in case the two tried to rob him.

He also told staff if he did not come back the two men were responsible.

After leaving the casino, documents say the three men made their way to Haverty’s campsite, which is where the body was found.

Cherry’s girlfriend, who says she was with the three men at the campsite, told investigators that she left for about 15-20 minutes. When she returned, Knight was bleeding and appeared to be dead, she told police.

She told investigators she watched as Haverty and then Cherry used a knife to cut off his head.

She says Cherry told her Haverty attacked Knight with a hammer after he tried to rob him and he only had $6.

Both men are being held at the Yellowstone County jail.

Haverty’s sentencing is set for Feb. 26.