Man Sentenced in ‘Beer Pong’ Stabbing

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – A 24-year-old Missoula man who stabbed a University of Montana student during an argument over the rules of a drinking game was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail and 15 years of probation.

Collan J. Sheppard pleaded guilty to felony assault with a weapon and criminal endangerment for the Sept. 20 fight that left 19-year-old Jerry Stewart of Butte hospitalized with a severed artery in his arm and a severe gash across his abdomen.

A witness said Sheppard and another party guest began arguing about the rules of a drinking game called beer pong. Sheppard pulled the knife when Stewart confronted him after the argument had escalated.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed a more serious charge of attempted murder and recommended a more lenient sentence. Sheppard, who also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and negligent endangerment, was ordered Thursday to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution, including $69,000 within the next two weeks.

The victim’s mother, Sherrie Stewart, said she wanted to see Sheppard go to prison for the rest of his life, but would rather accept a plea agreement than have her son endure the stress and uncertainty of a trial.

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