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Forum staff reports, Published January 28 2011

North Dakota man convicted of manslaughter

WAHPETON, N.D. – A Richland County jury found a 46-year-old Wyndmere man not guilty of murder and attempted murder charges Thursday, convicting him of a lesser count of manslaughter.

After the four-day trial in Richland County District Court ended with the verdict shortly before 5 p.m., Steven Russell Rowland was sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison on the manslaughter conviction, said his attorney, Richard Edinger.

Rowland was accused of murder after Gordon Vosberg was killed with a shotgun blast to the chest following a fight at closing time the night of St. Patrick’s Day last year at the Four Corners Motel and Lounge in Wyndmere.

He was also accused of trying to murder the bar’s owner, Robert Faber Jr.

Rowland didn’t contest that he walked into the bar with a loaded shotgun, but he argued he didn’t intend to kill Vosberg, his attorney said.

“The jury followed the law. That’s all you can ask,” Edinger said.

Ron McBeth, assistant Richland County state’s attorney, couldn’t be reached for comment.