Murder Suspect Has First Court Appearance

Local News

The man accused of murdering a Bismarck man and setting a house on fire has his first court appearance.

Earl Roy Howard was read five charges in a Burleigh County courtroom Monday morning, including murder and arson.

Prosecutors say Howard shot and killed 42-year-old Chad Entzel, then lit a fire in Entzel’s home three days later.

The state recommended a bond of 1 million dollars.

Howard, appearing on a video screen, argued that the bond was too steep.

“I did turn myself in as soon as I found out there was an arrest warrant. I drove from Canada to Michigan to turn myself in. That will be a reason not to set my million dollar cash bond,” says Howard.

Ultimately, the Judge sided with the state, setting Howard’s bond at 1 million dollars and requiring him to hand over his passports.

The victim’s wife, Nikki Entzel, is also awaiting a preliminary hearing on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson.

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