Wife of man fatally shot in Bismarck charged; man sought

January 9, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The wife of a man found fatally shot after a residential fire in Bismarck was formally charged Wednesday with felony conspiracy charges in his death, and an arrest warrant for murder was issued for a Canadian man, authorities said.

The Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department said Nikki Entzel, 38, was arrested Tuesday night. She was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence, police said.

Another person of interest has been identified and is being sought, sheriff’s officials said. An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for 41-year-old Earl Howard of Belwood, Ontario. He is accused of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, arson, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to tamper with evidence, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Burleigh County Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Hulm said Howard and Nikki Entzel apparently have a relationship, but the exact nature of that relationship is not known yet.

South Central District Judge Gail Hagerty on Wednesday afternoon set Nikki Entzel’s bail at $500,000 cash. No attorney appeared on her behalf, and none is listed in court documents.

The body of 42-year-old Chad Entzel was found with a gunshot wound to the head in the bedroom of a Bismarck home Thursday. Officials say a fire was contained to the bedroom.