Montana man indicted after firing shots into home, making ‘violent, homophobic slurs’

News

BILLINGS, Montana (ABC4) – A Montana man has been indicted on hate crime and firearm charges, after allegedly firing shots into a person’s home and threatening them with ” violent, homophobic slurs.”

Get Utah’s latest news sent to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the free ABC4 daily newsletter.

John Russell Howald, of Basin, Montana, has been charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and with the use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on March 22, 2020, Howald allegedly “attempted to injure an individual because of their actual and perceived sexual orientation by discharging a firearm into the individual’s house, stating that he wanted to ‘get rid of the lesbians [and] gays.’”

Howald was attempting to kill the person inside the house, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Howald is scheduled to appear in court on June 29. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison for the hate crime charge and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for the firearm charge.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates

IN FOCUS

More In Focus

Justice Files

More Justice Files