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Ponder suspect turns self in

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

A Ponder man turned himself in to authorities Monday morning after grand jury indictments last week linked him to the attempted murder of his wife over the course of several years.

According to the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, John Franklin Howard, 53, turned himself in on a total of eight charges: six for solicitation of murder, one for attempt to commit capital murder and one for conspiracy to commit capital murder, officials said.

Investigators with the Carrollton Police Department said Howard, a Carrollton-based accountant, is accused of plotting for years to kill his wife, Nancy Ann Howard.

In August 2012, Carrollton officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of Bluebonnet Way after someone shot Nancy Howard in the face in her garage, according to an arrest affidavit.

Documents obtained from Carrollton police show that Nancy Howard said that when she arrived home Aug. 18, she was confronted by a white man in his early 20s in the garage of their Carrollton home. The suspect put a silver-colored handgun to her head and demanded her purse, records show. Nancy Howard gave the suspect her purse and then was shot in the face, according to police records.

Police say Nancy Howard, John Howard’s wife of nearly 30 years, suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the gunshot wound, including the loss of her left eye.

After a series of interviews and investigations, police say they believe John Howard is linked to his wife’s attempted murder after allegedly soliciting and paying large amounts of money to multiple people to try to get the job done.

Bail on the eight charges totals $550,000.

Jamie Beck, spokeswoman for the Denton County District Attorney’s Office, said John Howard is expected to have his first court appearance in April.

Officer Jon Stovall, spokesman for Carrollton police, said everything is being handled by the district attorney’s office as officials prepare for prosecution.

Beck said her office had no further comment on the case.

Nancy Howard filed for divorce last year, according to court records. The divorce case is pending.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.