Stensaker in Court - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Stensaker in Court

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A Williston man was in court this morning in Williston for murder charges in the death of 58-year-old rancher Jack Sjol in April of this year.

33-year-old Ryan Lee Stensaker pleaded not guilty to Class Double-A Murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and possession of a firearm.

Drug charges in the case were dropped.

After a month-long search, Sjol's body was found seven miles west of Williston.

A medical examiner's report says Sjol died from a gunshot wound to the head and chest from a .300 caliber rifle.

A rifle was recovered from the Stensaker residence in Williston and ammunition casings were compared with the three casings recovered at the crime scene.

(Sgt. Detective Amanda McNamee, Williams County Sheriff's Department) "When the ammunition is loaded into the bolt action rifle, the extractor makes a marking on top of the rim of the casing. Those marks that are on the rim of the casing match the marks that were found on scene on the casings that were recovered on scene, it also matched the marks on the ammunition that was found in Mr. Stensaker's bedroom."

Five other people face charges related to this case.

Preliminary hearings for the other five are coming soon and prosecutors say all of the cases will likely be tried together.

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