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Former defendant in rancher’s killing charged after police chase

WILLISTON - A man previously charged in connection with the death of a Williston rancher led police on a short chase Wednesday before crashing a motorcycle.

Ronald Gibbons was treated at Mercy Medical Center in Williston after the chase, the Williams County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. His condition was unknown Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies were seeking Gibbons for allegedly violating conditions of his bond from previous felony charges.

The sheriff’s office said Gibbons refused to pull over his motorcycle, instead leading officers on a short chase before crashing the motorcycle.

The sheriff’s office said Gibbons will be charged with two felonies -- possession of drug paraphernalia and being a felon in possession of a firearm -- as well as misdemeanor weapons and traffic charges.

Gibbons had previously been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Williston rancher Jack Sjol. Those charges were later dismissed.

Sjol was last heard from on April 24, 2013, his body later found in a dumpsite. A medical examiner’s report said Sjol was shot at his ranch northeast of Williston.

Six people were charged in the case, with Issac Steen the first to face trial. Steen was convicted in April of hindering law enforcement.

Ryan Lee Stensaker, charged with conspiracy to commit murder, is set to go on trial in July. Charges against two other defendants, including Gibbons, were dismissed. Two other defendants charged with hindering law enforcement have upcoming trials.

Gibbons was later arrested on weapons charges and had posted bond.

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