Gackle man sentenced to 1 year for role in combine death that killed farmhand

Ryan Storbeck was sentenced to serve 375 days in the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Ryan Storbeck.jpg
Ryan Storbeck
Contributed / Stutsman County Correctional Center

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — A 42-year-old Gackle man accused of driving a combine while under the influence of alcohol and striking and killing a South African man was sentenced Tuesday, April 11, in Southeast District Court in Jamestown.

Judge Troy LeFevre sentenced Ryan Christopher Storbeck to 375 days in the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, with credit for nine days served.

LeFevre also ordered Storbeck to participate in the 24/7 program for 365 days and to pay a $400 criminal administration fee, $100 defense/facility administration fee, $35 indigent defense application fee, $300 indigent recoupment, $500 fine/state and a $25 victim-witness fee.

In March, Storbeck pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, a Class C felony; false reports to law enforcement or other security officials, a Class A misdemeanor; and driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class B misdemeanor.

Storbeck was accused of negligently causing the death of Johannes Steenberg, 57, a South African man who had a temporary residence in rural Gackle, giving false information about how much alcohol he consumed, and driving a combine while intoxicated on Sept. 6.


According to court documents, Storbeck called 911 at about 5:40 p.m. Sept. 6 to report that he had run someone over with a combine and the victim was dead. It appeared Steenberg’s head was crushed between the combine’s header and a wheel of a grain cart, court documents say.

A Class C felony is punishable by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine; a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by 360 days in prison and a $3,000 fine; and a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by 30 days in prison and a $1,500 fine.

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