Bena man accused of killing mother, assaulting others, found guilty

On Wednesday, a Cass County jury found Thomas Wayne Matthews guilty of murder and assault from a series of violent crimes in the fall of 2018.

Thomas Matthews. Photo courtesy of Cass County Attorney Ben Lindstrom.

According to the criminal complaint, Matthews was arrested Nov. 27, 2018, after assaulting several patrons of the Big Winnie Bar, using a knife and attempted to steal one their cars.

The next morning, Matthews’ mother was found dead of multiple stab wounds.

The Cass County Sheriffs’ Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department assisted at the scene.

Cass County Attorney Ben Lindstrom reports Matthews will be sentenced on Nov. 12.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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