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Published December 31 2012

Two in alleged murder plot plead not guilty

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – Two out of eight people allegedly involved in a gruesome murder plot here have pleaded not guilty in Otter Tail District Court.

Zack Stewart, 18, of Erhard, and Kimberly Ryan, 36, of Fergus Falls, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Police say Stewart, Ryan and six others plotted to settle a score over a stolen backpack full of drugs and money by robbing a Pelican Rapids man’s house, killing him and everyone else inside, including his wife and children, and then burning the house down.

Police say when the eight approached the man’s house on Oct. 4, they were carrying weapons such as a crowbar, a baseball bat, bear mace and a gun. Stewart and Ryan have no prior convictions as adults.