FARGO — When Deanna Dirks spoke in court Tuesday, her words intertwined with tears as she blamed the death of her son on Shawn Bear.
“Your actions that day ultimately lead to the death of our son,” she told Bear, in front of her family as well as Bear’s.
The day Deanna Dirks was referring to was Sept. 6, 2018, when Bear stole about $10,000, as well as jewelry and credit cards, from her 23-year-old son Jakob Dirks of West Fargo, according to court documents.
Two days later, Jakob Dirks went to the AmericInn Hotel at 4325 23rd Ave. S. in Fargo, and used a gun to confront Bear about the stolen money, court documents said.
An altercation ensued in Shawn Bear's hotel room, and his brother, Alan Bear, fatally stabbed Jakob Dirks, court documents show. Alan Bear was later released from police custody after an investigation revealed he acted in self-defense during an attempted robbery.
At the court hearing Tuesday, May 14, Shawn Bear pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft. Cass County District Judge Cherie Clark ordered him to spend two years and six months in prison, followed by 18 months of supervised probation.
Shawn Bear, 24, must pay $10,000 in restitution to Dirks' family. He received credit for having already spent 176 days in jail.
Shawn Bear told the judge about his issues with drug addiction and that he stole the money likely to pay for drugs. He added that it was not an excuse for his actions and that he would like to seek treatment.
“I deeply regret what I did to the (Dirks) family,” Shawn Bear said. “I’m sorry for what I also did to my family.”
Two other men with Dirks at the hotel that day, 23-year-old Robert Peightal and 20-year-old Jordan Plouffe, were sentenced in March on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit terrorizing in connection with the deadly hotel encounter.
Plouffe was ordered to serve two years in prison, and Peightal was sentenced to four years behind bars. Both will be on supervised probation after their prison sentences.