Harley Howell, 25 years old, of Shelley, Idaho was sentenced today an a guilty plea of failure to report a death to law enforcement official and a coroner, which is a felony punishable by 10 years and up to $50,000.
Mr. Howell was living with his father and mother, Mr. Doug Howell and Ms. Danielle Howell, along with his grandmother, Naoma Ware. Ms. Ware was the mother to Ms. Howell. Reports of Ms. Ware being severely malnourished and significantly mistreated by the family came to light after reports of the disappearance of Ms. Ware was reported to Bingham County. Upon further investigation, it became known that Ms. Ware had been missing since 2014. Due to the significant mistreatment and malnourished body of Ms. Ware, Ms. Howell directed Mr. Harley Howell to hide the body in order to protect the family from being charged with mistreating her mother’s health. Mr. Harley Howell then moved the deceased body of his grandmother several time in an attempt to hide the body for to protect his mother.
Ms. Danielle Howell died in a car accident in November 2019 which aided in bringing Ms. Ware’s case to light. As the reports came in to Ms. Ware missing, Detective Mike Marvin with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office took lead on the case and discovered Ms. Ware’s body buried in the duck pen behind the family home. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that Mr. Doug Howell had limited dealings with Ms. Ware, however, he pleaded guilty last fall to abuse, exploitation or neglect of a vulnerable adult, which is a misdemeanor under Idaho Law.
Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers commented that the case in its entirety is eerie and there are still suspicions remaining with how the family dealt with Ms. Ware both while she was alive and after her death as there have been many issues that have remained unanswered. Mr. Rogers then recommended that the District Court impose a sentence of 7 years fixed and 3 years indeterminate, for a total of 10 years, to be served in the Idaho Department of Corrections. Mr. Howell’s attorney, Mr. Doug Dykman of Pocatello, recommended to the District Court for the sentence to be probation based on his low mental capacity. The District Court ordered Mr. Howell to be sentenced to 3 years fixed and 7 years indeterminate for a total of 10 years and the Court retained jurisdiction for 365 days to see if any progress will be made by Mr. Howell under treatment while in prison for that time.