Ogden funeral set for man murdered in California

Friday , August 01, 2014 - 2:28 PM

Neil Eugene Decker

Neil Eugene Decker (Standard-Examiner obituary photo)...

ALDERPOINT, Calif. — A man with Ogden ties was shot to death in a rural area of northern California, say police, after a July dispute over personal property.

California’s Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports Neil Eugene Decker, 49, was shot and killed July 18 by Matthew Aaron Brown, 30, after an argument between the two men.

Brown eluded authorities until the early morning of July 22, when he was arrested on suspicion of another murder, this one reportedly occurring three days after Decker was killed. The second alleged victim was 57-year-old Rancho Sequia resident Scott Johnson, Eureka’s Times-Standard reported.

Immediate family members of Decker’s live in Ogden and his obituary ran Friday in the Standard-Examiner. A memorial service in his honor will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at Leavitt’s Mortuary in Ogden.

“Neil passed away unexpectedly, unnecessarily and tragically July 18, 2014 as the victim of a violent crime,” the obituary reads.

It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday evening whether Decker once lived in the Top of Utah himself. He was a resident in the Alderpoint area at the time of his death. Decker’s family could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Decker knew Brown, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

“The victim and suspect were acquainted with each other. They got into a verbal argument over personal property on (the) night before the shooting,” reads a press release from the sheriff’s office. “Shortly after the argument, the suspect shot the victim in the chest with a shotgun.”

Decker was still alive when medical first responders arrived, but could not be airlifted to a hospital in time.

“Medical personnel arrived on scene and began life saving efforts. The victim was transported to a landing zone to be flown out by helicopter,” the release states. “The victim succumbed to his injury prior to being transported by helicopter.”

Decker loved the outdoors, his family said in his obituary.

“Neil loved fishing, boating, being at the river and in the mountains,” they wrote. “His favorite football team was the Pittsburg Steelers.”

Contact reporter Ben Lockhart at 801-625-4221 or blockhart@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Lockhart. Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blockhartSE.

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