Tyson David Kolar, charged with shooting and killing Matthew Fiechtner several miles west of Hobson on October 2, 2023, made his initial court appearance in Fergus County on October 19.
Kolar, 40 years old, pleaded not guilty to a charge of deliberate homicide.
Also charged with deliberate homicide for Matthew’s death is Megan Michelle Fiechtner, Matthew’s estranged wife; her initial court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, October 26.
Court documents state that Kolar initially denied being at the home of the victim, but then told investigators he shot Matthew in self-defense. But officials say that Matthew was of no threat when Kolar shot and killed him.
Officials saw on the surveillance video that Megan - the estranged wife of Matthew - calmly walked around the blood with her daughter, but waited 20 minutes before calling 911.
Excerpts from the charging documents:
Megan then confessed that she was present when Kolar shot Matthew. She claimed that Matthew reached behind his back and that Kolar shot Matthew because he believed Matthew was going for a weapon. Megan reported that Kolar shot Matthew three times with a revolver that he had concealed upon his person.
Kolar denied shooting Matthew but then recanted and admitted he shot Matthew in self-defense. He maintained that Matthew started to assault him by punching him in the chest, abdomen, and legs. At this time, Kolar pulled his handgun from his right Carhartt jacket pocket and fired into Matthew within six feet. Kolar stated that he fired two additional shots at Matthew who was fleeing from him, at approximately fifteen feet. Kolar stated that, following the shooting, he drove to his residence in Lewistown and hid the murder weapon in his bedroom closet.
A follow-up interview with Megan revealed that there had been no physical altercation or assault before the shooting between Matthew and Kolar. She was adamant that there had only been a verbal altercation between the two when Matthew reached behind his back. Kolar pulled his handgun and pointed it at Matthew, and Matthew put his hands in the air in a 'surrender' fashion and said there was no need to resort to or bring out the handgun.
Despite no clear threat to Megan or Kolar, Kolar fired his handgun at Matthew, and Megan could see blood on Matthew’s upper body as he turned to run. She reported that Kolar shot a second time at Matthew and then ran after him as Matthew fled toward his house. Megan reported she heard a third shot after Kolar pursued Matthew. She said there was no threat and no self-defense in this situation, as Matthew was unarmed and posed no threat with his hands in the air.
A surveillance camera system was operating 100+ yards from the crime scene at Matthew’s house. This surveillance system recorded the encounter after Matthew pulled in driving his water truck. Both Matthew and Tyson Kolar can be seen in the video, talking for a short time. Suddenly, Kolar fired his handgun at Matthew, who runs north out of camera view. Kolar calmly starts to walk after him. There had been no physical altercation or contact before Kolar shot Matthew Fiechtner.
Megan walks into view after the shooting and gets her 2-year-old daughter from the parked water truck. Megan Fiechtner, a nurse, is seen walking about the front yard and up to the house and appears to be examining the blood. She is seen calmly walking about carrying her 2-year old daughter, and it is confirmed that she does not call 911 until 4:31:55 p.m., over 20 minutes after the shooting. In the 911 call, she lies and tells the 911 dispatcher that she arrived at the residence and found blood on the ground and door and found her 2-year-old child alone. She said she didn’t want to get in trouble for taking her 2-year-old and 6-year-old (who just got home from school) because she didn’t know where their father was. She specifically stated, “We’re in the middle of a divorce, and I don’t want to get in trouble for taking my kids…. but I don’t know where he’s at”. She knew where he was, and that he had been shot. She is a registered nurse and failed to render aid or immediately summon help.
On the day of the shooting, Megan received news that her parenting plan had been rejected. This information was provided to Megan by a mailed letter to her. Megan and Kolar also were aware that Matthew’s father planned to give a statement against the pair (Megan and Kolar) to Matthew’s civil attorney. It was anticipated that Matthew’s father would provide information related to Kolar’s unfit and unstable behavior.
Judge Heather Perry said she plans to recuse herself from this case and Megan’s case since she is from Judith Basin County and says the town is "too small" for her to stay on the case.