Earl Howard is convicted for the murder of Chad Entzel

Earl Howard

Earl Howard

A North Dakota judge on Monday sentenced a man to more than two decades in prison behind bars after his harrowing affair with a married woman ended in the murder of her husband. her two years ago.

Judge of the Central South District Court David Bahr convict 43 years old Earl Howard 25 years in prison for his role in the murder of 42 years old Chad Entzel, the Bismarck Tribune report.

Howard’s attorneys in October are said to have reached a settlement with prosecutors who have seen him plead guilty to charges of attempted murder, arson, conspiracy to arson and misdemeanors. more than other. Under the terms of the settlement, he would have to serve at least 85 percent – just over 21 years – before being eligible for a pardon. He is also credited with the roughly two years he has spent in prison since his arrest.

In addition to the 25-year sentence for attempted murder, Bahr also sentenced him to 10 years’ probation for each count and attempted arson, and 5 years for conspiracy to tamper with evidence.

Police and emergency responders on 2 January 2020 responded to a 911 call about a fire at a house located northeast of Bismarck. After the fire was extinguished, firefighters entered the house and found the remains of Chad Entzel inside. He is said to have been shot several times.

A county medical examiner conducted an autopsy and determined that Entzel’s cause of death was homicide by gunshot to the head. He is believed to have been killed in late December, days before the fire was lit.

After an extensive investigation, the police arrested Howard and Entzel’s wife, Nikki Entzel. Authorities allege that Earl and Nikki had an affair and decided to get rid of Chad, Nikki withdrew a $26,000 life insurance policy naming himself as a beneficiary just days before his death. After killing Chad, both Howard and Nikki are said to have set the house on fire in an attempt to destroy any evidence that might link them to the crime.

Nikki Entzel

Nikki Entzel

Howard was initially charged with Chad’s murder, but prosecutors dismissed the charge in May 2021 when a forensic review of the gun used to kill Chad “did not reveal evidence of which defendant did it.” shoot the victim”. each Bismarck NBC/Fox affiliate KFYR-TV. Nikki asserts that it was Howard who pulled the trigger.

Howard and Nikki were originally supposed to be tried together until the former accepted a deal from prosecutors. Nikki, who is also charged with conspiracy to murder, arson, conspiracy to arson and tampering with evidence, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. A 10-day jury trial is now scheduled to begin in Bismarck on February 28.

During Monday’s hearing, Bahr said that Howard’s decision to accept the plea deal was informed in part by the fact that Chad’s family approved the final sentence, which he called a “balance.” significant mention” in its decision.

“They really support the plea agreement, and it will leave at least half of this case behind them when they have some answers, and they don’t run the risk of the matter not being resolved by some means. justice,” Bahr reported. .

Attorney for the State of Burleigh County Attorney Julie reportedly emphasized that Howard had no prior criminal history and was willing to take responsibility for Chad’s death when it came to the plea agreement, according to a report are from Grand Forks Herald. She also noted that Howard would face an additional 25-year suspended prison sentence if he violated the terms of his pardon.

Deb EntzelChad’s mother is said to have spoken directly to Howard prior to sentencing.

“How could you do such a cruel thing to another person you don’t even know, that has nothing to do with you?” she asked, adding that Chad’s murder had left “a wound so deep that it will never heal.”

Nikki will face a maximum sentence of life in prison if she is found guilty next month.

[image via Burleigh County Sheriff’s Office]

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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/rival-sentenced-to-prison-for-role-in-love-triangle-arson-and-murder-of-north-dakota-man-he-didnt-even-know/ Earl Howard is convicted for the murder of Chad Entzel

James Brien

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