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Attorneys say girlfriend’s statements could jeopardize impartial trial

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:43 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Earl Howard appeared in court Tuesday afternoon for a motion to separate himself from co-defendant Nikki Entzel.

The two are accused of murdering a man in his home in January.

Howard’s attorneys argued Tuesday that statements made by Nikki Entzel ­­could jeopardize Howard’s ability to have a fair and impartial jury trail.

Attorneys also worry if Nikki takes the stand, cross examination from the state could skew the thoughts of Nikki and Howard’s relationship.

Howard’s attorneys say the statements Nikki Entzel made during the initial investigation led to warrants for Howard’s arrest.

They believe her statements about Howard could be enough to find him guilty of his charges.

“Trying to minimize the importance of the statements and saying there is other evidence out there and whatever. I don’t think it does justice to the weight that the statements have in the state’s case,” says Philip Becher, Howards Defense Attorney.

State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer argues even without Nikki’s statements, evidence from the home and surveillance cameras will be enough to convict Howard.

“If she had not come in and spoken to law enforcement we would still have all that information that we would be using to show the relationship between the two of them, to show that they were together to show that they left the hotel, the home was entered, those things,” says Lawyer.

Judge Douglas Bahr did not make a decision regarding the motion, he says he wants to do more review and research on the case.

A bond reduction hearing was also heard, Judge Bahr denied any requests to lower Howard’s bail.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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