A man suspected of committing a triple homicide in Kansas City faces additional charges in Platte County after authorities traced him to the Northland on Sept. 2.
Brandon Howell, 34, remains in custody at the Jackson County Detention Center, held without bond, after he was arrested alongside Interstate 29 near NW 72nd St. Just before midnight, a tip from the public alerted law enforcement to a suspicious person walking down the roadway, about a mile from where a stolen Toyota Highlander SUV taken from the murder scene earlier in the day was found abandoned hours earlier. Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd charged Howell with four felonies and two misdemeanors from a disturbance at Motel 6 located off of I-29 near Barry Road. According to court documents, Howell followed an occupant of the motel to room 246 and asked to borrow a lighter. He then forced his way into the room, beating the first victim unconscious and assaulting another man he encountered inside. The scuffle left Howell without a shirt, and as he fled, he punched a woman occupying room 248 in the face. Due to the disturbance and subsequent location of the stolen car, Park Hill School District briefly locked down Park Hill High School, Congress Middle School, Renner Elementary School, Prairie Point Elementary School, Gerner Family Early Education Center, Park Hill Aquatic Center and the district office that afternoon. People were allowed to leave those buildings after a couple of hours. Howell faces felonious assault, burglary, tampering with a motor vehicle and unlawful possession of firearm charges in Platte County in addition to two misdemeanor assault charges. He was not to have any firearms due to past felony convictions stemming from a 1999 home invasion robbery in Gardner, Kan., when he also beheaded a pet cat during commission of the crime.
For more on this story, see the Sept. 10 edition of The Citizen