Dead woman's son allegedly threatened her husband with machete

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Cynthia Canoy

Five days after a Scott City woman died, her son was charged with threatening her husband with a machete.

Neil N. Howland Jr., 25, is in Scott County Jail facing charges of unlawful use of a weapon and third-degree assault in connection with a May 19 incident in which he is accused of threatening his stepfather with a machete.

Howland's mother, Cynthia Canoy, 48, of Scott City died Aug. 7, according to an obituary found on a funeral home website. That was the same day a charred female body was found in a burning car abandoned on a farm field road near Kelso, Mo.

The weapon and assault charges were filed Monday against Howland.

Sheriff Rick Walter would not confirm or deny the name of the homicide victim, nor would he confirm or deny Howland was a suspect in the homicide. He said the sheriff's department still was waiting for the victim's remains to be positively identified.

Neil Howland Jr.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by officer Amber Saupe of the Scott City Police Department, on May 19, Jerry Canoy reported his stepson, Howland, had threatened him with a machete and previously had threatened him and his wife with a firearm.

Jerry Canoy told police he and his wife feared for their lives, and they initially said they did not want to press charges for fear of retribution, Saupe wrote in the affidavit.

But on Aug. 1, Jerry Canoy had a change of heart and wanted to pursue charges, Saupe wrote.

In the affidavit, Saupe wrote that on May 19, she had responded to a report of stealing at 919 Oak St. During this time, Jerry Canoy whispered to Saupe that threats had been made against him by his stepson a day earlier, Saupe wrote.

He said Howland, who was sleeping nearby when the officer arrived at the residence, had threatened Canoy with a machete and said he was going to kill him, Saupe wrote.

Cynthia Canoy told Saupe the threats happened often; according to the affidavit, she told the officer her son and his girlfriend, Tiffany Warner, who lived with them, were doing drugs, causing them to behave irrationally.

Cynthia Canoy suspected Howland and Warner were hiding from someone from Illinois, where they had lived at one time, and where Cynthia Canoy said she believed they had committed a crime, Saupe wrote in her affidavit.

Online court records do not show criminal charges for Howland nor Warner in Jackson, Johnson, Pope, Pulaski, Union or Williamson counties in Southern Illinois.

According to the affidavit, Howland has a criminal record dating to 2003; his past charges include abusing 911, criminal mischief, vehicle burglary, evading arrest, domestic assault, tampering with physical evidence and animal abuse.

Howland remains in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond, online court records show. He has been charged with a class D felony of unlawful use of a weapon and a class C misdemeanor of assault in the third degree.

Scott County Sheriff's Department records show Howland was taken into the Scott County Jail on Friday afternoon.

Warner also was arrested Sunday on a first-degree child endangerment charge and was in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond.

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