Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Wyndmere man charged in murder investigation

Steven Rowland

A Wyndmere, N.D., man faces a murder charge after authorities say he shot and killed another man following a fight at the Four Corners Motel & Lounge in Wyndmere.

Steven Russell Rowland, 46, allegedly left the bar after the fight, returned with a shotgun, pointed it at victim Gordon Vosberg and pulled the trigger, according to the murder charge filed in Richland County District Court.

Four people were inside the bar, including owner Robert "Bobby" Faber Jr., when the victim was shot in the chest, Chief Deputy Gary Ruhl said.

Rowland fled the scene and was apprehended minutes later at a friend's place on the northwest side of Wyndmere, Ruhl said.

Rowland is being held in the Richland County jail on $5 million cash or bond. He will probably make his first court appearance on Tuesday, said Ron McBeth, assistant state's attorney for Richland County.


Ruhl said authorities were still sorting out who was involved in the fight. The murder charge states Rowland fought with Vosberg "and another."

Rowland is engaged in a civil lawsuit against Faber.

According to the lawsuit filed in Richland County District Court, Steve and Alice Rowland entered into negotiations with Faber to buy the bar.

The Rowlands ran the bar from May 4 to June 30 of last year, but an agreement wasn't reached, and Faber decided not to sell, the lawsuit states. The Rowlands are seeking $16,796 for money and property they claim they forwarded to Faber.

In an answer to the lawsuit, Faber claims that all funds advanced by the Rowlands were pursuant to an oral purchase agreement and were forfeited by the Rowlands "when they reneged on their agreement to purchase the business."

Faber did not return a message seeking comment.

His attorney in the case, Don Eppler of Lisbon, said he spoke to Faber after Thursday's shooting. He said Faber told him that Rowland and Gordon Vosberg exchanged words around closing time, and that Rowland left and returned about five minutes later with the gun.

"All he told me is that he (Rowland) kind of came after both of them," Eppler said.


Eppler said he met Vosberg in January at the bar when Eppler stopped there to have Faber sign documents for the lawsuit. Eppler said he planned to call Vosberg as a witness in the lawsuit, but he doesn't believe the shooting is related to the suit.

"I can't imagine this case had anything to do with this shooting," he said.

Vosberg was born and raised in Wyndmere but had lived for the past three years in Lidgerwood, 14 miles south of his hometown, said his 24-year-old daughter, Nichole Springer.

Known to friends and family as Gordy, the 58-year-old had five adult children and nine grandchildren with whom he enjoyed spending time, Springer said from her home in Wyndmere, where family members gathered Thursday night.

"We're doing OK. It's a humongous shock," she said. "The man did not deserve to die the way he did."

Springer, who last saw her father at 6 p.m. Wednesday, said he liked to hunt and fish and was "wonderful, would give anything for anybody." The self-employed construction worker "never hurt a fly," she said.

Vosberg and Rowland knew each other, she said, declining to comment further about the case.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


What the fight was about remains under investigation, Ruhl said.

"Everything is still sketchy at this time," he said.

Rowland's attorney in both the civil and criminal cases, Jason Butts of Wahpeton, declined to comment on either case.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting in the criminal investigation.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

Steven Rowland

What To Read Next
Get Local