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Decapitation defendant planned to eat victim's brain, court documents reveal
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Decapitation defendant planned to eat victim's brain, court documents reveal

Body investigation

In November 2017, Billings Police Department detectives investigate the scene where a body was found off of South 32nd Street West.

The second man charged with decapitating a winning casino patron in October is facing new charges and allegations, including that he talked about eating the victim’s brain after killing him, two people told police.

Donald Ray Cherry, 32, is charged with killing Myron Wesley Knight, 41, after Knight won $120 at the Montana Lil’s Casino on King Avenue West on Oct. 26, 2017.

He faces a new charge of intimidation for allegedly telling his girlfriend she would be guilty if he went to prison because she remembered the night’s events incorrectly.

Cherry told his girlfriend in a video visit from the jail in January that, “I know you don’t remember right,” before winking, according to charges.

Cherry was showing his girlfriend the affidavit and pointed out a paragraph recounting her statement to police. The woman said both Cherry and Haverty had participated in the killing.

“The only thing that makes a witness is there’s two people saying the same thing,” he said, according to charges. “So as long as we say the same thing, then that’s all that matters, OK?”

Prosecutors have also filed a new charge, that of evidence tampering, for allegedly hiding the victim’s severed head, body and belongings after killing him. Cherry’s new charges are punishable by up to 10 years each in prison. He faces a possibility of life in prison on the homicide charge.

Cherry’s co-defendant, Jeffery Glen Haverty, 35, has admitted deliberate homicide and is awaiting sentencing. As part of a statement to police required by his plea agreement, Haverty admitted he and Cherry had planned to rob and kill Knight before they left the casino, according to the new charges filed against Cherry.

Knight had won $120 in cash that night and had given it to casino staff to hold, saying he feared Haverty and Cherry would rob him, according to staff statements to police laid out in charging documents. Knight had only $6 on him when he was killed, according to charges. 

Haverty told police in the recent statement that Cherry had talked about eating Knight’s brain after they killed him – a claim also made by Cherry’s girlfriend in statements to police. Cherry’s girlfriend said Cherry “has a fascination/obsession with zombies,” according to the latest charges.

Haverty also told police in the recent statement that he had buried the knife used in the killing and thrown the hammer in the Yellowstone River. He also said he’d washed his clothes before police located and arrested him, so none of Knight’s DNA was found on him.

Police located a buried knife in the area Haverty told them he left it. The Montana State Crime Lab is currently testing blood on the knife.

Cherry told police that he, Haverty, and Knight had smoked meth after leaving the casino, charges state. 


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