Howell Faces Assault, Kidnapping Charges
John Michael Howell, 42, of HC 61 Box 114, New Martinsville, faces severe charges following an alleged assault against his wife to have occurred the evening of Dec. 14 at his residence. The two had been separated since Aug. 26 and have a child in common.
Deputy Eric Daugherty of the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office met the victim at Wetzel County Hospital where she stated she went to the defendant’s residence to pick up her child, and was assaulted when she attempted to leave.
The victim was flown from WCH to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown Tuesday evening. As of Thursday afternoon the hospital did not have the victim’s name on record.
Howell was arrested later in the evening on Dec. 14 and it is reported he was found with scratches around his left eye, left side, and a bruise on his left arm.
Howell is charged with one count each of sexual assault in the first degree, malicious wounding, and kidnapping. Possible penalties if found guilty of these offenses are as follows: 15-35 years incarceration, two to 10 years incarceration, and confinement by the Division of Corrections for life, respectively.
Due to the nature of the case Deputy Daugherty is not releasing further details at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Howell remains in the Northern Regional Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond until his preliminary hearing in Wetzel County Magistrate Court scheduled for Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m. before Magistrate Tom Shepherd. Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught will prosecute the case.