Police: ‘Innocent victim,’ beating suspect did not know each other
WILLISTON — Police say the man who was beaten to death outside a Williston strip club early Friday was an innocent victim.
Siler was being sought on a charge of aggravated assault for allegedly beating Dean Neiderklopfer, 25, in front of Whispers, a strip club in downtown Williston, in the early hours of Friday, police said. Gibson, a Williston resident, was being sought on a charge of hindering law enforcement.
Detective David Peterson said Tuesday police were working with the North Dakota Medical Examiner’s Office and the Williams County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine filing additional charges.
Petersen said Neiderklopfer, who lived in Williston, was “an innocent victim,” adding the suspects and the victim did not know each other.
Siler and Gibson were in a “dating relationship,” he said. Siler was a former employee at Whispers, working as a bouncer or bar back about a year ago.
In an affidavit, police said Siler had been involved in a fight with Niederklopfer about midnight. Witnesses reported seeing Siler hit Niederklopfer in the head and when he fell to the ground, Niederklopfer appeared to be unconscious and made no attempt to catch himself.
Officers found Niederklopfer on the ground and unresponsive. Niederklopfer was transported to Trinity Hospital in Minot, where he was declared brain dead at noon Saturday, police said.
Siler was observed on video appearing to strike Niederklopfer and was seen returning to the video holding, rubbing his hand, police said. Witnesses said he was “strutting and “smirking” when he returned.
Gibson is also seen on video holding her cell phone in a position to make a video of the incident. Police said she was texted by a man, Josh Brown, about the video she took at the scene, and she asked why he wanted it. She texted another man, Nathan Franklin, that she was leaving town for awhile and asked him to care for her dogs.
Police later found Franklin with Gibson’s three dogs at which time police took a photo of the cell phone text she had sent to Franklin.
Police tracked the two suspects through Gibson’s cell phone as they traveled to South Dakota.
The south end of Main Street has seen an uptick in crime with the influx of workers to Williston and the surrounding communities in the Oil Patch. Petersen said the department devotes extra attention to this area of the city due to the bars and strip clubs, where last year a man was shot and killed.
Jonathan Horvath, 46, of Idaho was recently found guilty in the shooting death of 28-year-old Derrick Spiegel outside Heartbreakers in March 2013. The two had been arguing when Horvath shot Spiegel in the face and head with a 9-mm handgun.
Siler was awaiting trial on two drug charges in Williams County. Court record show he was arrested in June 2013, accused of possession of drug paraphernalia and was charged in March with conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.