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Former county resident charged with murder

A former Pocahontas County resident is charged with first degree murder in the handgun slaying of a neighbor. Mark A. Howsare, age 62, of Stafford County, Virginia, formerly of Minnehaha Springs, is currently incarcerated without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford, Virginia, charged in the shooting death of William Conner, age 35 of Stafford County.

According to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to Howsare’s residence in Stafford County on the night of January 19, following a report of a person being shot. When deputies arrived on scene, a friend of the victim told deputies that Mr. Conner had been shot on Howsare’s front porch and staggered into the yard, where he was found, deceased. The friend said the shooter was possibly still inside the residence.

Deputies established a perimeter around the residence and made numerous attempts to contact Howsare. A helicopter from the Maryland State Police assisted with a search of the local area. Shortly after 1:25 a.m. on the morning of January 20, a Sheriff’s Office SWAT team located Howsare in his bathroom, still armed with a handgun, and took him into custody without further incident.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office reported that Conner, who frequently visited the residence, had gone to a local store to return an air mattress for Mr. Howsare, but was unable to do so. When the victim returned to the residence, he was locked out of the house. An argument ensued with Mr. Howsare, who was still inside the residence. During the argument, Mr. Howsare opened the door and allegedly shot Conner with a hand gun several times. The reasons for the argument are unclear at this time.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation.


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