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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Howell back in custody

Thursday, January 17, 2008

James Henry Howell
Fugitive parole absconder James Henry Howell, 42, was arrested Jan. 12, following information provided to Izard County Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley that Howell was in the area of Culp Road in Izard County.

All tip information received from the public indicated that Howell was armed and had made statements that he would not be taken back into custody.

With the information that Howell would be traveling into Baxter County on Baxter CR 73 in the Culp community, deputies set up a road block. The vehicle in which Howell was a passenger approached the road block at 9:32 a.m.

The vehicle ran the road block and struck a Baxter County Sheriff's patrol car causing slight damage, authorities said.

Howell then jumped from the vehicle and fled into the woods on foot. One Baxter County Deputy fired a shot after observing what he believed to be a gun in Howell's hand, according to the Arkansas State Police.

According to Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery, deputies from Baxter and Izard counties were assisted by tracking dogs and their handlers from the Arkansas Department of Correction North Central Unit at Calico Rock.

Howell was tracked through the woods and taken into custody at 9:51 a.m. He was transported to the Baxter County Detention Center and held on charges of parole violation and fleeing from officers. Both charges are felonies.

"After all this time ... the reward paid off," Dillinger said.

The driver of the vehicle is not in custody and has not been charged with an offense as of press time.

According to authorities, Howell was known to travel the back roads and power line right of ways in an attempt to avoid arrest. Several reports of fences being cut in the Dolph area were attributed to Howell.

Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence said that it was his understanding that Howell had illegal drugs on and near him resulting in additional charges from Baxter County.

Due to Howell's many cuts and scrapes and his general condition, it appeared that he had been living in the woods, according to Lawrence.

Lawrence went on to say that his department, Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger and Sheriff Montgomery of Baxter County, along with the Arkansas State Police had been working in the three county area to apprehend Howell.

Fulton and Izard County authorities received information that Howell had been seen in the Wild Cherry area in Fulton County and engaged in a search Jan. 10, according to Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger.

"People are pretty scared of him around there," Dillinger said.

According to authorities, police from the two counties searched three different areas including the home of Howell's brother but were unable to establish Howell's whereabouts.

The hunt for Howell began in August of 2007 after Arkansas State Trooper Ronnie Stewart initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle at 7:45 p.m. on Highway 395 South near Bexar. Howell was a passenger in the car and fled the scene on foot.

According to Dillinger, Stewart called the Department of Correction at Calico Rock and requested help from their dog team to assist with the search.

The August search ended around 12:30 a.m. after the dogs lost Howell's scent.

A helicopter from Baxter County also assisted the State Police and Fulton County officers.

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