Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

James Howell left Indiana to avoid Child Molestation Charges

Found Sunday with guns and explosives in his car in Santa Monica, CA


James Howell at his arraignment Monday at the Airport Courthouse

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. - James Wesley Howell was charged with child molestation on Wednesday, officials with the Clark County prosecutor's office said.

Howell, 20, is accused of sexually penetrating an underage girl on May 31, just days before he was arrested in Santa Monica. He was found in possession of weapons and an explosive mixture called Tannerite. He told Santa Monica Police that he was on his way to the West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.

Howell left Indiana because he was told that he was under investigation in the alleged molestation, Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull told IndyStar.

"I believe he left the state of Indiana and went to California because he understood that this child molesting investigation was ongoing and he was in imminent danger of being arrested," Mull said.

Weapons and explosives charges have been filed against Howell who was arrested in Santa Monica Sunday with rifles, ammunition and explosive chemicals in his car while headed to a gay pride event.

Howell was charged Tuesday with three felonies: possession of an assault weapon, possession of explosives on a public highway and possession of a high-capacity magazine. He was also charged with a misdemeanor, possession of a loaded weapon, according to L.A. County Deputy district attorney Sean Carney.

Howell's bail was increased from $500,000 to $2 million Tuesday because of his perceived danger to the community, Carney said. Howell's lawyer entered not guilty pleas during a Tuesday afternoon arraignment.


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