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Curfew, rent cited in killing of Arizona grandmother

PHOENIX — Arizona police say a man charged with killing his grandmother
beat the woman with a shovel before slitting her throat because he was upset
with her strict curfew rules and how much she charged him for rent.

Jason Eric Howell is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree
murder, hindering prosecution and abandoning a body. The 40-year-old does not
yet have an attorney. He was being held Wednesday in the jail’s psychiatric unit
and was unavailable for comment.

Howell is set for a court appearance next week.

Police say he led investigators to the desert about 75 miles southwest of
Phoenix where 78-year-old Helen Jean Lee’s body was found Saturday.

They believe he killed her around Oct. 30, the same day he was arrested on
multiple charges after authorities say he stole a car outside an elementary


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