Monday, October 26, 2015

Hinds County justice: Get high, kill someone, go home.

A drunk driver who killed a man and injured a paramedic will stay out of jail and spend a few years at home under house arrest. Hinds County Circuit Judge Bill Gowan sentenced Robert Lee Howard, Jr. to 25 years in prison for one count of Aggravated DUI (Death) and another count of Aggravated DUI (injury) but suspended the entire prison sentence on October 20. Howard will serve five years of conditional post-release supervised probation for five years and then serve non-reporting probation for 15 years. Howard is 45 years old and a resident of Jackson.


Judge Gowan said he was suspending the sentence due to Howard's medical condition. Howard claims he suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, and is prone to seizures. He also suffers from kidney disease and must get dialysis treatments. A Hinds County grand jury indicted him in November 2013 for the two counts of aggravated DUI. The indictment stated he drove a vehicle while under the influence of "cocaine and/or hydrocodone and/or zolpidem.

An AMR team responded to a wreck with injuries on Bullard Street. Howard killed Jessie Lee Thomas, 71, and badly injured AMR paramedic Jennifer Hesselbein. Public defenders Allison Kelly and Yemi King. Howard made an open plea. Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson made no sentencing recommendation.

Howard was denied bond when arrested in 2013 but Judge Gowan granted him a $10,000 conditional bond in 2014.

Ms. Hesselbein lost part of her lower left leg and her left eye as well. She has endured over thirty surgeries. 





Kingfish note: So that is how you kill someone and stay out of jail? Get pregnant, get some diabetes, drink until your liver is destroyed, then claim illness.  Can't have the state spending money on his health care if he is in prison.   What a disgusting result. 


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure he didn't get pregnant.

Anonymous said...

sometimes the victim's family is paid large amounts of money by the defendant to keep him or her out of jail

Anonymous said...

Karen Irby served less than 2 years and killed TWO people. She is no longer even on house arrest - that ended in Jan 2015. Justice is often luck of the draw on judges and how much money you can pay for a good lawyer. This does not surprise me at all.

Bill Dees said...

All the State has to do to remedy this is to raise some taxes so they could pay for the man's dialysis.

Anonymous said...

This is why everyone avoids Jackson and Hinds County. This is why no respectable business will relocate there (you definitely got the wool pulled over your eyes with that Solar Panel Company). If you actually think a few hotels will bring in tourists, officials are as dumb as they seem. The City deserves every bit of bad press that the outside public can generate. It will happen.

Anonymous said...

October 26, 2015 at 1:56 PM = CLUELESS

Anonymous said...

2:12 - yes and the people Karen killed are also now clueless...because they are DEAD!

Anonymous said...

Bill Dees - you seem to be behind in your reading. Anyone on dialysis has been covered by Medicare since about 1966, regardless of their age.

But I do admire your persistence in insisting that there is no problem that can't be solved by raising someone else's taxes.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Walmart will CLOSE Highway 18 location, son as the Byram facility opens (in response to 2:10 above)

Anonymous said...

If the Hwy 18 Walmart does close then Clinton better double their police force.

Anonymous said...

3:21, I pray that is just a rumor. If the Highway 18 Walmart closes then more Jackson residents will come to our neck of the woods to steal.

Anonymous said...

The bench and criminal bar are corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Target on I55 is closing when the Madison store is built. That was publicly announced and then squashed due to employees panicing and threatening to quit. Theft is so high at that store, they can't keep up with it.

Anonymous said...

Irby was pardoned by the gubner- The Judge gave her 17 years to serve-

Kingfish said...

Mrs. Irby at least was sentenced to 18 years in jail and served nearly two years. That firefighter got an even longer sentence. But this guy..... what a joke.

At some point vigilante justice is permissible when a criminal justice system has broken down and proven incapable of functioning. Is Hinds County close to that point or not? Judge Gowan pushed it one step closer to that line last week.

Anonymous said...

I wish every Wal-Mart would close. The only one that is ran efficiently in this area is the Pearl store. When a Wal-Mart moves in your area, that lets you know that you live in a low income area. I recently had tires put on at the one in Madison, and I shopped in the store while I waited. It was like every other Wal-Mart I've ever visited. There is no such thing as an upscale Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

Not bother the troll folks with the details surrounding Karen Irby. It is too fun watching the troll put his/her vast ignorance on display.

Anonymous said...

All the Targets and Wallmarts will close once the Greenwood Plantation Costco opens. Talk about swanky

Anonymous said...

Actually when the Madison Walmart first opened years ago it was very nice. However, Jacksonians were able to ruin it in no time, just like everything else they touch.

Anonymous said...

Gowan has a soft spot for certain kinds of criminals - drunk drivers and child molesters. Remember how John Langworthy pled guilty to 5 counts of having his way with young boys. Good old Judge Gowan suspended the entire 50 year sentence because - you know - he loves the Lord!

Anonymous said...

Anyone have the discovery in this case? Was the evidence there for a conviction? My guess is that the State and a the Judge were aware of serious problems with the case. I practice in front of Judge Gowan and he is not known for going easy on punishment. Also since it was a violent crime Ivon Johnson would have been the ADA and he generally offers pretty stiff plea bargains. People who assume everyone arrested is "guilty as charged" have to believe that JPD/Hinds SO have a 100% accuracy rate with regards to arrests. Anyone believe that? A couple of my past clients have been highlighted on this website and I've been so tempted to email the discovery to kingfish with an explanation of why they walked. Wasn't the Judge, wasn't the DA, it's always terrible police work.. Always...

Anonymous said...

@8:04 - The sorry thug trash POS still has to be transported by AMR from time to time and has joked about what he did. If you're an attorney please let us know who you are so none of us will hire you since you might advise us to plead guilty when you think there isn't enough evidence for a conviction.

Bill Dees said...

@2:58 PM on October 26: The Medicare web site says that Medicare is not provided to incarcerated persons when the incarcerating authority is legally obligated to provide medical care, as the State is required to do for persons it incarcerates. So, in the case of this particular man, the State would be required to provide dialysis.

And you seem to be a little challenged in recognizing sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

"At some point vigilante justice is permissible when a criminal justice system has broken down and proven incapable of functioning. Is Hinds County close to that point or not?"

Can you cite to me where, under the laws of this State, that's permissible? Or are you just being a blowhard who likes to incite violence while being "anonymous?" Come the hell on, Kingfish.

You repeatedly post people's addresses on this blog, but don't have the gumption to do anything other than remain anonymous. It's laughable. So, maybe we can stop with this whole "vigilante justice." There's no support under the law. You should know better. Maybe you do, and you just don't care.

Kingfish said...

8:04: Yup. Always blame crappy work by JPD. However, there is another function of a DA's office that is rarely mentioned: fixing cases.

Good prosecutors come back to the police and tell them to fix the case. Michael Guest's office does it all the time. Example: Clayton Kelly. The charges changed because the DA came back to Madison PD, worked with them, and helped them fix the case. That happens all the time in Madison and Rankin counties. Investigators in Brandon, Ridgeland, Pearl, etc make mistakes all the time. The DA's office works with them, perfects the case and presto, they get indictments and usually convictions down the road.

Such cooperation does not happen in Hinds County. Police have complained to me too many times that the prosecutors do not come back to them and work to remedy defects in the case. Example: Ladarrian (sp?) McCray. He was arrested for homicide and then no-billed by the grand jury. I have the complete file. There was no ballistics report on the bullet from the state crime lab in the file. The only other evidence was a claim by a woman that the suspect told her he committed the crime. The grand jury refused to indict.

What didn't take place was the prosecutors did not come back to the police and tell them to get a ballistics report and find the bullet or else they wouldn't proceed. The prosecutors instead took the file, warts, flaws, defects, and all to the grand jury, presented it, and surprise, the grand jury no-billed the case. McCray has since been arrested again for another murder. Too often the D.A.'s office just takes a file, no cooperation with PD, doesn't call any detectives or police to testify, slaps that file down in front of the grand jury, and the grand jury no-bills the case.

Anonymous said...

Whether you like it or not, this guy has some serious health problems that would put a financial bind on the taxpayers of Hinds County. I've seen the transcript of the preliminary hearing. If you are not in court when these things happen, you only get a fraction of information. Sometimes even in court

Anonymous said...

MDOC is supposed to have a dialysis unit at the prison in Pearl.

Anonymous said...

8:04 Here...

So Kingfish your example is exactly what I'm talking about. JPD sent a case over with no ballistics and one eyewitness who may or may not have been credible. Why didn't JPD complete the investigation (ballistics etc)get all of the facts and THEN send the case over for presentation to the Grand Jury? So an alleged murderer walked free after a no bill because JPD didn't prepare the case well enough and now that person has allegedly killed again? But the Da's office should have helped JPD do their job and fixed it? Really? I agree sometimes other jurisdictions do this OCCASIONALLY but the help also comes with a strong reprimand to the departments to do it right the first time.

I have a indicted case right now that JPD used a six person non-suggestive lineup to identify the perpetrator.. One problem though. Defendant had been previously arrested and JPD had THREE pictures of the defendant in the SIX person lineup. Hilariously, the victim still identified someone other than the defendant but JPD still charged him with auto burglary and he was INDICTED with that evidence?!

@8:30 That was a brilliant comment. So if you are arrested, as you imply you and other readers will be, you don't want to hire someone who will advise you as to the strengths and weaknesses of the case and likelihood of success should we take it to trial? Perhaps you should re-read my original comment. We never "advise" clients to plead guilty.. it is their life and their choice. Where you came up with pleading someone guilty when there isn't enough evidence I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

Robert Shuler Smith needs to ask where Kingfish got a complete copy of a police file in an ongoing investigation where Kingfish is not a party to the case or one of the lawyers involved… FOIA doesn't cover ongoing criminal investigations

Kingfish said...

Let.him.try. Got it, jackwagon?

I referred to the first case, which was no-billed, moron. But then, you already knew that. I obtained the file through a perfectly legal FOIA request, which tells me how little you know of public records law.

Go ahead and try to do it. Make my day. We will have much more fun against such a lawsuit than we did when he sued the Chief Deputy.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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