No bond reduction for suspect in Williston slaying

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A judge has refused to lower bond for one of the six suspects in the slaying of a Williston-area hobby rancher, saying there is probable cause to believe Jeremy Weyrauch was involved in the death of Jack Sjol.

Defense attorney Nicole Foster sought to reduce Weyrauch's bond from $1 million to $25,000, the Williston Herald reports She said during a court hearing Friday that Weyrauch passed a polygraph test that included a question about whether he had shot Sjol.

"He passed that part of the test," Foster said. "He's not your trigger man."

The body of Sjol, 58, was found in a garbage dump on May 14, three weeks after his family reported him missing. He had bullet wounds to his head, face, and upper left arm, authorities said. Police have not discussed a possible motive in the slaying.

Weyrauch, 31, faces a murder conspiracy charge. Five others have been charged in the case, including Ronald Gibbons, 27, who also faces a conspiracy charge, and Ryan Stensaker, 33, who is charged with murder.

Gibbons indicated during a prison phone call that he and Weyrauch were with Stensaker the day Sjol was killed, and that Weyrauch pulled the trigger first, Williams County prosecutor Nathan Madden said.

"(Weyrauch) has no alibi that day except that he was doing drugs and stealing stuff," Madden said.

Foster said that continuing to hold Weyrauch in jail is "really an injustice."

"All the state has is one person said this, one person said that over a jail call," she said. "But those other suspects have not taken a polygraph test. Mr. Weyrauch has taken one. He is truthful."

Judge David Nelson refused to lower Weyrauch's bond on the grounds that the state has probable cause to believe that he was involved in Sjol's death and because Weyrauch has a history of missing court appearances.

"That's what happens when you don't show up in court," Nelson said. "The jail won't let you out when you get arrested for other crimes."