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Murder trial moved to Ellendale

WILLISTON, N.D. — A man accused of murder in Williams County had his trial delayed and moved to Ellendale.

Ryan Stensaker, 33, is charged with the murder of Williston rancher Jack Sjol. His trial was scheduled to start July 8, but The Associated Press reports Judge David Nelson agreed to postpone until Dec. 9 and move the trial to Ellendale. The trial is now scheduled in December.

Stensaker’s defense lawyers asked for a change of venue from Williams County due to heavy media coverage of the killing, and Nelson agreed to the request.

Stensaker is being held behind bars on a Class AA felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the April 2013 killing of Sjol. Sjol was reported missing April 24, 2013. His body was found in a private dump May 14, 2013.

Stensaker and four other people were arrested in the case but charges have been dropped against two suspects. A third suspect, Issac Steen, was convicted on a charge of hindering law enforcement. Theresa Steen is facing the same charge.

Sjol’s body was found on Issac Steen’s property with bullet wounds to the head, face and upper arms.

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