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Trial Begins for Man Accused of Suffocating Wife in Lake Elsinore

Authorities allege that on June 17, 2012, the defendant subdued his wife, bound her hands and ankles, then wrapped a garbage bag tightly around her neck, asphyxiating her.

Ted Preston Howard is seen being arrested in this Patch file photo.
Ted Preston Howard is seen being arrested in this Patch file photo.

Jury selection is slated to get underway Tuesday for the murder trial of a man accused of tying up and suffocating his wife in their Lake Elsinore home.

Ted Preston Howard, 60, could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted in the 2012 killing of 66-year-old Jeannette Howard.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz heard pretrial motions in the case today and is expected to summon more than 150 prospective jurors to the Riverside Hall of Justice Tuesday for screening as to their availability and qualifications.

Opening statements are tentatively set for Thursday morning.

Authorities allege that on June 17, 2012, the defendant subdued his wife, bound her hands and ankles, then wrapped a garbage bag tightly around her neck, asphyxiating her.

Howard telephoned 911 around 4:50 p.m., telling a dispatcher -- before she could even ask the nature of  his emergency -- that he had killed his wife, according to the prosecution.

In the ensuing 18-minute conversation between the defendant and 911 operator, he was repeatedly asked what had happened in the home, to which he continually answered, in an emotionless voice, "I don't know" and "Send the police," according to court papers.

"Can you tell me what happened to her until the deputies get there?" the operator asks at one point.

"She's dead," Howard replies.

When deputies arrived at the single-story residence, located at 32560 Payne St., they discovered Jeanette Howard's body on a hallway floor.

Sheriff's Investigator Gary Bowen testified in a 2013 preliminary hearing that the house was "filthy" and cluttered, with cats crawling all over the place.

Jeannette Howard apparently took in felines whenever she found them.

According to Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunsky, the defendant never made any admissions or gave any clues as to what might have precipitated the killing.

Howard is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

 

– City News Service. 



Natalie June 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM
He called 911 and said he killed his wife.. This is going to trial because?
Steve M June 25, 2014 at 02:32 AM
He said that before his miranda rights were read to him?
Mr. Gordon Hendricks June 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM
"Sheriff's Investigator Gary Bowen testified in a 2013 preliminary hearing that the house was "filthy" and cluttered, with cats crawling all over the place." Sounds like my ex wife's house.
SA June 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Murder is murder sane or insane… Trial … 1 Appeal … Bullet to the head … Next!
Steve M June 25, 2014 at 02:48 PM
"Some people cry and some people die by the wicked ways of love". "All you need is love?" All you need is cash!

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