Murder suspect Jabali Jerome Howard surrendered last night to face charges in Tuesday morning’s fatal shooting of 23-year-old Courtney Bell at the Red Carpet Inn in Augusta.
Howard, 29, is charged with murder, weapon possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Howard is a repeat offender with long rap sheet, including convictions for aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance, obstruction of an officer, drunk driving, simple battery and more.
Despite several felony arrests, the court system has consistently been easy on him, dismissing many serious charges to get him to plead guilty. The convicted felon has spent short stints in jail and prison before being let out, only to re-offend.
His last arrest was in November, when he was charged with felony possession of methadone, felony obstruction of an officer, and family violence battery. At the time, Howard was on probation!
He spent three months in jail awaiting trial, and when he went to court Feb. 11, prosecutors let him out for time served.
Two and a half months later, he stands charged of ending a young woman’s life. Deputies were called to the Gordon Highway hotel just after midnight Tuesday and discovered the victim had been shot. She was rushed to the hospital but died about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew said.Howard remains in jail under no bond.