Third Person Sentenced in the Joey Gaarsland Case

Jason Oien was sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter of Joey Gaarsland.


A Fargo man will spend at least 15 years behind bars in the beating death of Joey Gaarsland.

In May of 2015, 34-year-old Jason Oien was involved in a fight outside of Rick’s Bar. He and three other men allegedly beat Joey Gaarsland, causing his death. Oien plead guilty to manslaughter.

Joey Gaarsland’s daughter, Ali Gaarsland, said she was hoping he’d get more time in prison.

Two co-defendants, Jessy Olsen and Nicholas Morris, have already been sentenced to 20 years.

“This is true no matter how long they’re in jail for, it doesn’t give us our dad back it doesn’t give us the memories we have back, the memories we could have had with him. I mean we could say life but knowing he only got 15 years is really disappointing,” said Gaarsland’s daughter, Ali Gaarsland.

Oien had made Alford pleas, which means he did not officially say he was guilty, but acknowledged that a jury might find him guilty based on the evidence.

“Kind of sad and kind of confused just on why he got such little years for what he did,” said Gaarsland’s daughter, Madi Gaarsland.

Oien told the court that he was not a monster, but Gaarsland’s family members said this is not true.

“He’s lying because he is because he’s hurt so many people in this community,” said Gaarsland’s sister, Desiree Gaarsland. “He’s a danger to society; he should never walk the streets he should never see outside of prison walls. People like him don’t deserve that.”

This also isn’t the first time Oien has been involved in cases.

During the sentencing, prosecutor Ryan Younggren said he heard from multiple witnesses that Oien was eventually going to kill somebody one day.

Ali says she hopes his time in jail will make somewhat of a difference.

“I don’t think that he’ll change but over time he will learn and understand what he did to our family, what he did to my dad,” said Ali.

Both daughters say how upsetting it is that their father won’t be able to attend their graduation, wedding day or be a grandfather to their children.

Scott Moen is set to be sentenced on January 17th according to official court documents. He is the last man to be sentenced.

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