Dalton murder case goes to grand juryPublished 11:01am Friday, September 2, 2011
James Francis Howard, 47, the man accused of attacking his mother with a machete at the Dalton home the two shared on April 23, will face a grand jury for his first degree murder charge.
His mother, Barbara Howard, 68, died in May from her injuries.
Judge Mark Hansen ordered on Wednesday that Howard would face a grand jury, which will convene on Sept. 21, at 9 a.m.
Hansen made the order after finding Howard mentally competent to stand trial on Monday. Mental health evaluations were completed and submitted to the court in mid-August.
When emergency personnel responded to the Howards’ home shortly before 8 p.m., they found a deep fracture in Barbara Howard’s skull and other injuries to her hands and fingers, court records allege.
When responders found James Howard, he allegedly said he had tried to strike his mother several times with a machete in order to kill her, as he did not want her to die slowly from diseases she had.
Howard also allegedly had a cut on his neck, and he said he had tried to kill himself.
Grand jury proceedings are confidential.Tags: Dalton, murder attempt