Local News

Man charged in Goldsboro motel workers' deaths

Posted March 16, 2010

— Police on Tuesday charged a Goldsboro man in the December shooting deaths of a couple who worked at a Goldsboro motel.

James Carnell Howard, 28, was charged with two counts each of murder and possession of a firearm by felon and one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon in the Dec. 14 slayings of Suryakant Patel, 65, and his wife, Bhavanaben Patel, 61.

James Howard, charged with killing Patels Double-homicide suspect already in custody

The Patels' bodies were found in a room of America's Best Value Inn, 701 U.S. Highway 70 Bypass. They worked at the motel as housekeepers and lived in the room where they were found slain, police said.

Autopsies determined that Bhavanaben Patel was shot once in the forehead and that her husband was shot several times.

A motel employee said Howard also lived at the motel for about two months and moved out after the Patels were killed.

Police declined to say what evidence linked Howard to the crime, but they said they believe robbery was the motive.

Goldsboro police arrested Howard on Jan. 15 at the Irish Inn Motel in Goldsboro for outstanding warrants on an unrelated robbery. He has remained in custody since, police said, moving from the county jail to the nearby state prison, Neuse Correctional Institution, at the end of February after pleading guilty to driving while impaired.

Howard was being held without bond Tuesday in the Wayne County Jail while awaiting his first court appearance on the murder charges.


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  • manofjustice Mar 16, 2010

    This handsome and well groomed young man should be ashamed of himself. I hope he soon gets on his knees and repent even though he may never rise again. Murder is almost unforgiveable. It is something that you can never change. You can steal from me but I will get money again one day or replace an object. But taking away my loved one requires a higher spirit in me I may not even have. Let us all pray for this man's soul.

  • bronzegoddess40 Mar 16, 2010

    We need to start thinking of some people in America as terrorists - as that is what they are!!!

    Yes we do and all of them DON'T look like this man here who committed these murders.

  • working for deadbeats Mar 16, 2010

    "The wife *USED TO* chastise me for getting a concealed carry handgun permit a few years ago. Now, after seeing these kinds of news stories, she is applying for her own."

    Excellent! More people should do the same.

  • Qwerty27807 Mar 16, 2010

    The wife *USED TO* chastise me for getting a concealed carry handgun permit a few years ago. Now, after seeing these kinds of news stories, she is applying for her own.

  • ncguy Mar 16, 2010

    So when is the lawyer gonna tell us about his parents abused him?

    wait for it....

  • Outlaw Josey Wales Mar 16, 2010

    Unaffiliated Patriot - Of course the liberal politically correct news media never reports your stats.

  • working for deadbeats Mar 16, 2010

    Wow! No way!

  • ccs1920 Mar 16, 2010

    Retired07/Yes there is and it's been this way for as long as I can remember.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Mar 16, 2010

    ya, thats because law enforcement and the justice system are biased, UnaffiliatedPatriot.

    biased towards catching and locking up what criminals they can. dont want to go to jail? dont commit a crime!

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Mar 16, 2010

    16% of the population.....60 percent of the prison population.