Man accused in deadly Missouri crime spree pleads not guilty

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 24, 2014 5:41 PM

(Reuters) - A man accused of killing five people during a crime spree in a Kansas City, Missouri, neighborhood pleaded not guilty on Monday to murder and other charges, a court official said.

Brandon Howell, 34, was charged with beating and critically injuring George Taylor, 80, and Anna Taylor, 86, on Sept. 2 inside their home. They later died.

Howell also was charged with the murders of three others found shot to death in a yard and a driveway at nearby homes in the Woodbridge neighborhood. Killed were Darrel Hurst, Alice Hurst and Suzanne Choucroun, the indictment said.

Howell was taken into custody later that day after police suspected him of assaulting three people at a motel about 20 miles from the neighborhood where the five people were attacked.

He pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts, which included five counts of murder, plus armed criminal action, assault, burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Jackson County Circuit Court spokeswoman Valerie Hartman.

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He is being held without bond. His next court date is Dec. 11.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Peter Cooney)