Trial moved for Bismarck woman accused of conspiring to kill husband

Earl Howard and Nikki Entzel
Earl Howard and Nikki Entzel(kfyr)
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 11:45 AM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The trial for a Bismarck woman accused of conspiring to murder her husband and commit arson has been delayed after her attorney withdrew from the case Thursday.

Prosecutors say in 2019 Nikki Sue Entzel, 39, and Earl Howard, 43, lit a Bismarck home on fire after shooting and killing Entzel’s husband Chad Entzel while he was sleeping.

Howard pleaded guilty to the crimes and a district court judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison for conspiring to commit murder. Entzel has pleaded not guilty to three charges: conspiring to commit murder, conspiring to commit arson, and conspiring to tamper with evidence.

She was scheduled to face a jury Monday until her appointed attorney, Just Balzer, withdrew from the case. According to court documents, he cited a breakdown in the attorney/client relationship as the reason for the withdrawal.

Judge Douglas Bahr accepted the withdrawal and moved Entzel’s trial to Sept. 26.

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