• May 22, 2024

Colorado man arrested for murder threats to Benton County judge and probation officer 2023

On Monday, a guy from Colorado was detained on suspicion of threatening to assassinate Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren and a probation officer.

Theodore Howell, age 29, was arrested on allegations of intimidating a judge and threatening terrorism.

Judge Robin Green presided over Monday’s bond hearing for Howell in Benton County.

Green determined that there was probable cause to detain Howell on the felony counts. In a probation revocation case, she ordered Howell to be kept without bail, and in his most recent arrest, she imposed a cash-only bond of $500,000 dollars.

According to a probable cause document, Nathan Jeffrey, a probation officer, claimed to the Benton County sheriff’s office that he got a text message from Howell containing a death threat.

According to the affidavit, Jeffrey stated he knew the phone belonged to Howell because it was the same number Howell had listed for being on probation and Jeffrey had previously talked with Howell using that number.

According to the affidavit, the sheriff’s office website has a contact form request option that may be filed by anybody.

According to court filings, three contact request forms contained threats against Karren and one form had threats toward Jeffrey.

The requests contained threats against Howell, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Howell stated in the first form that he intended to kill Karren when he was heading to court, and Karren would not anticipate it. The affidavit states that Howell stated he intended to kill Jeffrey at the probation office.

According to court records, Howell labeled Karren as transphobic on the second request form. According to the affidavit, Howell stated he planned to kill Karren with a knife while walking to court.

A note on the form reads, “I’ve been arrested for threats previously, so this time I will follow through.”

According to the affidavit, Howell stated he intended to kill Karren because Arkansas is cruel to trans people and the jail was “extremely” cruel to him the previous time he was incarcerated there.

Howell is quoted in the affidavit as adding, “I will truly smash him with a hammer and then go away because you idiots are too dumb to locate me.”

According to the affidavit, sheriff’s office detective Michael Braswell interrogated Howell, who initially claimed he had been hacked and someone else made the threats.

According to the complaint, Howell later confessed to texting Jeffrey and making threats against Karren. It is stated that Howell stated he would never carry out the threats and had no idea why he did it.

In November 2021, he was arrested for attempting to penetrate restricted sections of the Bentonville Police Department. He was armed with a knife and disguised as a lady, according to court filings.

In November, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to six years of state-supervised probation. Also, he was required to undergo mental health care.

Friday, prosecutors submitted a motion to revoke Howell’s bail. He handed himself in, and he was put into the Benton County prison at 11:28 p.m. on Friday.

Howell disclosed to the judge on Monday that he is unemployed and has been residing in Colorado.

Green appointed the public defender’s office of Benton County to represent Howell. On April 17, at 8:00 a.m., Howell will be arraigned.

In the past, Karren has been the target of threats of violence, at least one of which resulted in a conviction.

A Springdale woman was sentenced to 40 years in prison in December 2019 for attempting to pay a guy to murder Karren and another man. The then 38-year-old Dorris Jenkins pled guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder.

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