Man pleads guilty to killing father-of-5 outside Fargo bar


A Fargo man has pleaded guilty to being involved in the killing of a father-of-five beaten to death outside a city bar.

KVRR reports that Scott Moen, one of four charged in the kicking and beating death of 35-year-old Joey Gaarsland in May, pleaded guilty to murder and conspiracy to commit assault.

Gaarsland was on a date with his wife Laura when they were "jumped" outside of Rick's Bar on Main Avenue. Gaarsland suffered a brain injury that proved fatal while Laura was knocked unconscious.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that Moen also pleaded guilty to assaulting Laura Gaarsland, who told the newspaper that his plea was a "moment of 'relief' in a 'horrible' past few months."

The newspaper notes that three of Moen's friends, Jessy Olson, Nicholas Morris and Jason Oien, still face Class AA felony murder charges and three counts each of criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault on the Gaarslands.

Moen's lawyer Charlie Sheeley told KFGO that Moen's plea is his way of taking responsibility for his actions, adding that he didn't start the fight but admits "things obviously went too far."

Moen entered an open plea, so there's no plea agreement in place. He will be sentenced at a later date.

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