Local News

Wake man pleads guilty to killing wife

Posted June 28, 2013

— A Wake County man pleaded guilty Friday to killing his wife last year and driving to Virginia with her body in his pickup.

Sonny Howard, 43, of 14925 Creedmoor Road, was sentenced to a minimum of 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the May 23, 2012, death of Sherry Howard.

Neighbors who went to check on Sherry Howard, 50, because she had been panicky the previous night told a 911 dispatcher that they found Sonny Howard covered in blood and what appeared to be a body behind the couple's home. Sonny Howard told them he had been "sawing a hog," the neighbors said.

Wake County deputies found the home deserted when they arrived, so authorities used Sonny Howard's cellphone calls to track him to Galax, Va. Police there pulled his truck over and found Sherry Howard's body in the bed of his pickup truck.

"I'm truly sorry about this, more than anybody. I only hope that one day you all can find peace and forgiveness. I'm sorry," Sonny Howard told relatives in court Friday.

His defense attorney said Howard never denied killing his wife in an argument and agreed to plead guilty to avoid putting his teenage son through the ordeal of a trial.

Lee Howard, son of murder victim Son pleads for leniency for father in mother's murder

Lee Howard said he has forgiven his father and wants to spend more time with him.

"I love my mom more than anything in this world. Ain't nothing going to bring her back, but that don't change how much I love my daddy," he said.

Assistant Wake County District Attorney Melanie Shekita said Lee Howard's statement was moving.

"No one in the courtroom could keep a dry eye," Shekita said.


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  • The Soldier Jul 2, 2013

    I forgave my father!! and I was sitting in my mothers lap when my father shot and killed my mother! So with someone who knows how the family feels. I give my prayers to the Man who did the crime and to the family. And to the Son I say this. It will be hard but with god I was able to forgive my father and I know that you will to one day. Do not be angry, because it will consume you. God bless

  • 678devilish Jun 28, 2013

    If the son want to continue to have a relationship with his father, knowing that he killed his mother/wife. Then that is the son's business and no one else. He lost one parent and don't choose to lose another.

  • 678devilish Jun 28, 2013

    Sad story. Pray for this family.

  • fwt64 Jun 28, 2013

    Minimum 13 yrs for a life! A person with a previous record all though not for murder---should be a wake up call. Children do not realize what is best for themselves sometimes a justified sentence might have been in the best interest of the child. At least a trial might have brought out the truth-thus protecting the child and society!

  • Bartmeister Jun 28, 2013

    Wow. The son forgave his father, that is huge. The killing is one thing but the attempt to cover it up is what I don't get a lighter sentence from.

  • JustMe83 Jun 28, 2013

    Lightfoot3-that's not a fair assumption, there's nothing wrong with him still loving his father...

  • tierneemalinadeveaux Jun 28, 2013

    Wow...if my dad killed my mom, I don't think I would be trying to spend time with him. I can't imagine that she did or said anything to him in that argument that would justify his taking her life.

  • SouthernBornSouthernBred Jun 28, 2013

    I'm not saying killing her was right, but does anybody know the circumstances around this? Did she attack him and he killed her by accident in self defense. Did he kill her in a crime of passion? As for the son still loving his Daddy this is his Daddy regardless of what crime he did. Do not judge this boy unless you have been through this!

  • HomeBrewDude Jun 28, 2013

    The demise of morality... these situations are become so common that the shock factor is null.

  • 007 - GranCo - Forever Jun 28, 2013

    RIP Sherry.