No bond set in teen murder case

By DeeAnna Haney | Apr 30, 2014

The Maggie Valley teen accused of murdering her father in February appeared for the first time in Haywood County Superior Court Tuesday morning.

Crystal Howell, 17, was indicted by a Haywood County Grand Jury April 2 for the shooting death of 50-year-old Michael Howell, whose body was discovered by two of the teen's friends stuffed in a plastic tub in a storage building near her home.

She was located and arrested at a Motel 6 in Richmond County, Georgia, March 23. According to search warrants, Howell confessed to shooting him in the head about a month prior to when the body was found.

Howell was escorted into the courtroom Tuesday wearing a solid black dress and her hands were free from shackles, though she has been in custody at the Haywood County Detention Center since she was transported from Georgia the first week of April.

Superior Court Judge Bradley Letts formally appointed Bridgette Aguirre to represent Howell.

Aguirre said her client was not making any motions requesting changes to her bond amount yet because she does not currently have an adequate place to reside in Haywood County if she is able to make bond.

A bond hearing will be scheduled at a later date. Until then, she will remain in jail without bond.

Aguirre made a motion, which was approved, to have law enforcement and prosecutors preserve their notes and files in the case to turn over to defense. Howell's next court date is June 30.