‘Things weren’t adding up’: Timeline laid out by prosecutors in murder-arson conspiracy case

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The trial for Nikki Sue Entzel is underway at the Burleigh County Courthouse. For the first time, a jury heard testimony from investigators describing what happened the day when Nikki’s husband was found murdered inside a Burleigh County home.

Nikki called 911 on January 2, 2020. That call led investigators to find the body of Chad Entzel.

“But as they looked, things weren’t adding up. The shotgun was a little too far away from the body,” said Julie Lawyer.

At Nikki’s trial Tuesday, investigators testified the body was found with multiple gunshot wounds and there had been two separate fires started in the home.

Investigators say Nikki’s mood was “baseline” on the night the body was discovered, except when asked certain questions.

“Referring back to the alleged abuse with her husband that brought back some emotion, to what I would classify as angry,” said Burleigh County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Walker.

Defense Attorney Thomas Glass pushed back, saying individuals handle trauma in different ways.

“Do you judge someone’s shock or trauma at a certain point?” Defense Attorney Thomas Glass asked Walker.

Glass has not yet made an opening statement in the case, but his client has maintained her innocence. She’s also stated her husband was abusive.

Chad Entzel’s family testified they would never believe Chad acted aggressively.

“He always had this crazy grin on his face. And he had dimples. Everybody always commented on his dimples. It seemed like he always had a joke for me when he saw me,” said Chad Entzel’s mother, Deborah Entzel.

Nikki said she wasn’t in the room at the time of the crime. Co-defendant turned state’s witness Earl Howard was sentenced in February to 25 years in prison for a role in the events.

If convicted, Nikki could face life in prison.

The trial will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m. Your News Leader will be live streaming the proceedings on our social media pages and website.