Home > News > TJ Howard Found Guilty of First Felony Against Him in 6 Minutes

TJ Howard Found Guilty of First Felony Against Him in 6 Minutes

July 21, 2016

A 29-year-old Centralia man has been found guilty of the first of seven felony criminal charges he has racked up since 2012.   

It took a Marion County Jury only six minutes to find TJ Howard guilty of criminal damage to property for damaging a Centralia Police car.  Sentencing was set for September 8th.  While Howard has six more felony and four additional felony traffic charges still pending, the felony conviction Wednesday was his first.   

State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach put a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy and two Centralia Police officers on the stand who were present during the incident.  Howard had been placed in the back seat of a Centralia Police car in September 2012 during a traffic stop in which he was a passenger because of pending traffic warrant.   He then allegedly kicked the side of the car denting the inside door.   After being repositioned and told to stop, Howard allegedly kicked the side of the car and broke out the window.  

Howard’s attorney in the case presented no witnesses and argued the prosecution had failed to meet its burden of proof.  

Howard did not testify or present a statement in allocution.   

Wilzbach says sentencing will be completed on the criminal damage conviction before a jury trial is held on the next pending charge.   It is currently set on the September trial docket.  A final pretrial conference will be held on the day of the sentencing and the jury trial set for September 19th.   

Howard remains in custody at the Marion County Jail in lieu of $1-million bond.  The bond increase came before Judge Michael McHaney after Howard allegedly tested positive for having THC, a chemical in marijuana in his blood system.  

At the time, McHaney called the large number of pending cases against Howard as shockingly out of control.  He said Howard was making a mockery of the system and blamed the court system for allowing so many continuances he couldn’t count that high.  

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