Canadian man pleads guilty in Bismarck slaying

October 23, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Canadian man facing the possibility of life in prison for the death of a Bismarck man two years ago has entered into a plea agreement that would send him to prison for 25 years.

The Bismarck Tribune reports Earl Howard, 43, of Bellwood, Ontario, pleaded guilty Friday to murder, arson and three conspiracy counts in the death of Chad Entzel. His body was found Jan. 2, 2020, after emergency workers responded to a call of a house fire in northeast Bismarck. An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Nikkisue Entzel, 40, is charged with three counts of conspiracy. Authorities say she and Howard were in a relationship and plotted the victim’s death with plans to cash in on a life insurance policy.

Howard entered the pleas just three days before his and Nikkisue Entzel’s joint trial was scheduled to start Monday.