Tim Miller, photo provided by Linn County Sheriff's Office
Near the crime scene
SWEET HOME, OR (KPTV) -
A man is accused of fatally stabbing someone he was drinking beer with and then trying to conceal the crime by throwing a large rock on the victim's body in a shallow pond.
The body of Tim Miller, 56, of Sweet Home, was found last Wednesday on a large piece of rural property known as Rockin Red Ranch on the 25000 block of Crescent Hill Road. Miller's son reported the man missing a day earlier.
An autopsy revealed that Miller died of "homicidal violence."
On Friday night, Donald Matzke, 43, was arrested in the case.
According to court documents, Matzke told investigators he had been drinking with Miller and numerous others when the two of them decided to take beer and a chair down to a pond.
Matzke said they drove a van down to the pond and, at some point, got into a fight. Court documents state Matzke retrieved a knife from the van, placed it in the ground and continued to drink with Miller.
Following another altercation, Matzke told police "the knife somehow got in his hand and he tackled Miller who fell." According to court documents, Matzke admitted stabbing Miller in the arm and the chest.
Matzke said he removed Miller's wallet and cell phone and pulled his body to the pond, according to a probable cause affidavit. The affidavit states when Matzke saw the body floating, he threw a large rock on it to try and make Miller's body sink.
He then threw the knife toward the creek.
Court documents state Matzke drove the van back to the home, burned Miller's phone in a wood stove as well as his wallet, but not before removing a $100 bill.
He then used that $100 over the course of the following days to purchase additional alcohol, according to court documents.
Matzke was booked in the Linn County Jail for murder. He was arraigned on that charge Monday and is due back in court June 9. He is being held behind bars without bail.
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