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17-year-old homicide suspect arrested in Richmond County

Monday, March 24, 2014 8:28 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:03 AM
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A 17-year-old North Carolina girl accused of killing her father last week was arrested in Richmond County on Sunday, authorities say.

Crystal Brooke Howell, of Maggie Valley, N.C., is accused of killing her father last week and was arrested in Richmond County on Sunday.  HAND OUT
HAND OUT
Crystal Brooke Howell, of Maggie Valley, N.C., is accused of killing her father last week and was arrested in Richmond County on Sunday.


Crystal Brooke Howell, of Maggie Valley, N.C., was being held Monday at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center for North Carolina authorities, according to Richmond County jail records. She will remain in jail pending extradition proceedings.

In a news release on Monday, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office announced that it has charged Howell with first-degree murder. She was arrested Sunday on an initial warrant charging her with concealing the death of her father, according to the statement.

North Carolina authorities began their investigation after Howell’s father, former Columbia County News-Times sports reporter Michael Joseph Howell, 50, was found dead at his rental property in the Sheepback Mountain community near Maggie Valley on Saturday

Preliminary autopsy results show that he died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

The sheriff’s offices in Richmond and Columbia counties assisted the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, the Waynesville Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Maggie Valley Fire Department on the case.

Comments (36) Add comment
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Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/24/14 - 08:42 pm
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God bless you Mike...

...I hope the next life brings you the peace that eluded you here.

735
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Barry Paschal 03/24/14 - 08:58 pm
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Well said.

Well said, Austin. Mike was an often troubled soul. He certainly didn't deserve such a departure.

Jim Blaylock
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Jim Blaylock 03/24/14 - 09:54 pm
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I can't help but feel sorry

I can't help but feel sorry for Crystal, too. I still remember the sweet little girl she used to be.

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 03/24/14 - 09:57 pm
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All I want to know is why do

All I want to know is why do murder suspects keep coming to Richmond County (whether they are guilty or not I don't wish to speculate about). I just wonder why they come here? She lives in Maggie Valley, NC so why would she come here?

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 02:31 pm
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Crystal was born and raised here...

...she has family here.

But she was in Augusta, because this was home...

*Edited to remove erroneous information*

Navy Gary
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Navy Gary 03/24/14 - 11:57 pm
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Really sad all around,

Really sad all around. It leaves one wondering what the heck could have happened for events to take such a sad turn.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 04:50 am
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A family tragedy.

A family tragedy.

LillyfromtheMills
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LillyfromtheMills 03/25/14 - 06:49 am
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There but through the grace of God,

Go I. God bless this family.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 07:36 am
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Conjecture

Austin said, "Had she not been pulled over...it is very possible there could have been further violence."

That's a lot of conjecture. I'll wait to see what comes out.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 02:33 pm
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whyme
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whyme 03/25/14 - 07:59 am
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facts this time...speculation other times

Likely Austin has "insider" information and I know that he does not post unless he has the facts and from reliable sources. However, in most cases in the comments sections, people have no more information than what is provided in the usually brief articles, yet they insist on making judgement calls, consider the alleged criminal guilty until proven innocent, and make fairly heinous remarks about the parties involved. How nice it would be if the people who spend their time on these sites would follow the policy clearly posted above the space in which one types (and the AC would enforce it a bit more often!) and the level of discussion would be of a more intellectual and thought-provoking nature, rather than what can come across as ignorant, hateful, or disrespectful. Let's not continue to stoop as low as some of the sites on the Internet.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 08:37 am
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Great points, Whyme...

...which is why I sign my name to what I post...the lack of the personal accountability we find in these comments is why I rarely feel the need to participate here...

When there is additional information that I can share, particularly when questions like AutumnLeaves posted are asked and I have the answer, I am happy to do it...

In a case like this that involves an old friend, it is only decent to shed as much light as possible...

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 03/25/14 - 08:52 am
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Thank you Austin. I

Thank you Austin. I appreciate your responses. I also agree with whyme and appreciate his comment also. I wondered in general, but also in particular why she came here because she looks very familiar, so knowing she grew up here and has family here will help me figure out why. I think I know, so I'm checking into it now. I'm quite sure I did not know her father, though, except for through the media. I am shocked and saddened that he is gone, no matter what the details and sorry for the family's and friends pain and loss as they unfold. May he at least rest in peace.

jimmymac
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jimmymac 03/25/14 - 10:13 am
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MURDER
Unpublished

Drugs? Molestation?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 10:20 am
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What We Know and Don't Know

We all know she killed her father. She fought the cops when stopped. But that does not tell us the circumstances of the killing. It's a stretch of logic to assume because she fought with the cops she was going to shoot more people.

I have no problem with someone expressing their beliefs about a crime on here or elsewhere. That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm saying I'll wait on this one to see what the investigators says about the shooting instead of implying she was on a potential multistate murder spree. It's a fact with family shootings there are often complicated circumstances. Like I said, a family tragedy.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 10:33 am
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I doubt she is going to volunteer what her plans were...

...and I did not get my info from a crystal ball. I got it from cops...and those close to Mike.

She was with her Father because she got along with him better than anyone else in her family...if she was capable of killing the one man who defended her and forgave her and attempted to help her more than anyone else...well...you do the math.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 03/25/14 - 10:40 am
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Who is Mike Howell?

Just someone you know, or was he someone of note from the area?

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 03/25/14 - 11:08 am
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"Charles B. Webster Detention

"Charles B. Webster Detention Center for North Carolina authorities". Why do the NC authorities have their own detention center in Augusta, GA? Did anyone at the AC take an English class?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 01:02 pm
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Complicated

"Deputies say neither the father nor daughter had a violent history. There had never been a dispute between the two that the local police know of."

gagirl40
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gagirl40 03/25/14 - 01:20 pm
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GiantsAllDay

"Crystal Brooke Howell, of Maggie Valley, N.C., was being held Monday at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center for North Carolina authorities, according to Richmond County jail records."

She is being held at the CBW detention center FOR the NC authorities. They are holding her until the NC people can come and get her.

internationallyunknown
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internationallyunknown 03/25/14 - 01:53 pm
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Did sonone actually say that

Did sonone actually say that they felt SORRY FOR her?

She was a nice and sweet child...haven't we heard that before...

Truth Matters
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Truth Matters 03/25/14 - 02:01 pm
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Gagirl40 @2:20pm You are a

Gagirl40 @2:20pm

You are a model of class by the way you responded to that comment.
My first reaction____not so much.
Glad I saw your post when I did.
Thanks!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 02:21 pm
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Austin said, "...which is why

Austin said, "...which is why I sign my name to what I post...the lack of the personal accountability we find in these comments is why I rarely feel the need to participate here..."

So it's okay to listen to your sources that you keep anonymous. Interesting.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 02:50 pm
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Austin Pulled His Posts

I see Austin pulled lots of his posts. When I said we all knew she had fought the cops, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. It was all BS. He talks about anonymous commenters yet posts comments from anonymous sources that are BS. Heh.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 02:52 pm
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I just removed some information...

...that I discovered to be a flat out lie. Nothing more I can say, except I had someone tell me a very, very detailed complete fabrication of how the arrest occurred. I am correcting the info on the air...and what I left behind is accurate. Not that there is much...because I was fed a few serious whoppers.

BY THE WAY...Mike Howell himself spent four months in jail on a domestic violence charge...and Crystal had NUMEROUS law enforcement run ins...as you may have noticed...there are at least TWO distinctively different mugshots we have seen so far. Taken months apart. There are others...

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 02:54 pm
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The buck stops with me on the inaccurate account of the arrest..

...it came from a very good source...who was also flat out lied to...

Sorry, I won't trust anything from that source again.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 03:00 pm
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Story now changes greatly

So the story now changes greatly. She did not fight the cops and was not undertaking a multi-state murder spree. She is also now said to have been treated numerous times for mental problems. I don't know. I've only responded to what's been posted and what's been in the news.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 03:09 pm
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Whyme

Whyme said, "Likely Austin has "insider" information and I know that he does not post unless he has the facts and from reliable sources. "

Heh, heh, heh.

Austin Rhodes
2970
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Austin Rhodes 03/25/14 - 04:10 pm
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Well Riverman...where did you get that neither Howell...

...had any kind of record? THAT is as inaccurate as anything I previously posted.

Riverman1
90139
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Riverman1 03/25/14 - 04:27 pm
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What I Said

Not exactly what I said, but I was only quoting news that had been broadcast on their news programs, unlike you. Here is the exact quote from my post above and from their TV station: "Deputies say neither the father nor daughter had a violent history. There had never been a dispute between the two that the local police know of."

That's not me saying it...it's a quote from a news story.

You were broadcasting something wrong that you got from some BS source. No where did I say you were lying. I realize your source was wrong, but it was funny after your little diatribe about anonymous commenters. Care to share with the public your anonymous sources?

By the way, do you know anything about her and her father fighting in the past with the police being called? The media up there is reporting the police are saying they don't know of any incidents. What was her father locked up for in the past for several months? Was it domestic violence or terroristic threats? Or is that one and the same?

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