Horace man sentenced for fatal bar assault

Case stems from fight at Horace bar in June

Jordan Pendleton and his attorney, Steven Mottinger, watch a video from the night of his summer altercation at Big Erv's Bar in Horace during his sentence hearing in Cass County Court on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, for the manslaughter of Marlin Klatt. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — A Horace, N.D., man was sentenced in Cass County District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to five years in prison with five additional years stayed for causing another man's death during an assault this past summer at a Horace bar.

Jordan Ryker Pendleton pleaded guilty in November to Class B felonies of manslaughter and aggravated assault, as well as two misdemeanor counts of simple assault .

Matraca Nichols, sister of Marlin Klatt, finishes reading her victim impact statement at the sentence hearing for Jordan Pendleton at Cass County Court on Tuesday, Jan. 19. David Samson / The Forum

According to court documents, Pendleton assaulted a bartender and two patrons on June 28 at Big Erv’s Bar and Grill.


One of those customers was Marlin Klatt, 31, of Horace.

Court documents detailed how Pendleton became angry with Klatt and hit him in the face with a closed fist. Klatt was knocked unconscious, fell to the ground and struck his head on the sidewalk, court documents said.

A video clip of the altercation was shown on TV monitors during Pendleton's sentencing Tuesday.

Jordan Pendleton gives a message to his family as he is escorted out of Cass County District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 19, after his sentencing for the manslaughter of Marlin Klatt. David Samson / The Forum

Klatt's girlfriend, Kaylee Reierson, read a victim-impact statement in court, stating Pendleton had killed her boyfriend, her future husband, the future father to her children "and the love of my life."


Klatt's sister, Matraca Nichols, also spoke at the sentencing and talked about her feelings of anger and complete sadness at the situation, as well as the lasting effects on her and her family.

She closed by saying, "I hate you," directly to Pendleton.

Pendleton was given credit for having served 25 days.

Forum photographer David Samson contributed to this report.

Jordan Pendleton reads a letter to the Klatt family on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at his sentence hearing in Cass County District Court in connection with the June 28, 2020, death of Marlin Klatt. David Samson / The Forum

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

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