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Man accused of killing five Kansas City neighbors finally set for trial

Posted: 10:50 PM, Apr 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-07 04:11:33Z
brandon howell.jpg

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After years of delays, a Kansas City man accused of killing five people in the same neighborhood is scheduled to go to trial Monday.

Brandon Howell will be tried in Jackson County, Missouri, on five counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors and police said he murdered Ann Taylor, George Taylor, Susan Choucroun, Lorene Hurst and Darrell Hurst in their south Kansas City neighborhood during a bloody 2014 spree.

"I think it's horrible, because it (the trial) should have happened sooner," said Pat Donnelly, who lives in the cul-de-sac across the street from where the murders occurred.

Donnelly remembers receiving a phone call from neighbors and driving up to Woodbridge Lane, where police had blocked off his entire neighborhood.

"There were firetrucks, there were police cars, ambulances, motorcycles, policemen," he said. "I was shocked. You get a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach and it didn't go away for a long time."

According to court documents, Howell attempted to steal a car at the Taylor home. The incident ended with the Taylors critically injured in the basement.

The older couple died a week after being attacked.

Courts documents allege Howell took another car from the Taylors then stopped in front of Choucroun's home and shot her. They also said he shot and killed the Hurts, who had just returned from grocery shopping.

"They were really nice people and it's terrible," Donnelly said.

Police arrested Howell walking along Interstate 29 in a different part of Kansas City.

Three people were assaulted at a Motel 6 and a van belonging to one of the shooting victims from earlier in the day was found nearby, according to police. Howell was arrested two miles away and was carrying a 12-gauge shotgun.

Howell also was accused of murder in the 1998 murders of two Shawnee teenagers. He was acquitted in 2009.

Howell also served prison time for a 2000 conviction on charges of kidnapping, assault, robbery and cruelty to animals.