Scott County murder suspect appears in court on assault, weapons charges

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Neil Howland Jr. enters the courtroom for his preliminary hearing Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, at the Scott County Courthouse in Benton, Mo. Howland's preliminary hearing was pushed back until Sept. 25. Howland is charged with first-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse, tampering with evidence and knowingly burning in connection with the Aug. 7 murder of his Mother, Cynthia Canoy. (Laura Simon)

BENTON, Mo. -- An accused murderer's preliminary hearing on a separate charge was continued Tuesday when his attorney couldn't make it to court.

The hearing for Neil Howland Jr. of Scott City on assault and weapons charges was continued to Sept. 25 when Howland's attorney could not be present, citing medical reasons.

Howland appeared in court Tuesday for his scheduled preliminary hearing on the charges stemming from a May incident involving his stepfather. Howland also is charged with four felonies in connection with the Aug. 7 death of his mother Cynthia Canoy, also of Scott City.

Howland is charged with first-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse, tampering with evidence and knowingly burning, all felonies, in connection with Canoy's death.

On Aug. 7, crews responding to a car fire off County Road 323 discovered a body in the car. An autopsy showed Canoy died before the fire.

Howland is charged with killing Canoy by strangling her with a dog leash. Howland transported her body and two of Canoy's dogs to a field near the county road and set the vehicle on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence, authorities allege.

He was arrested Aug. 9, two days after his mother's body was found, on charges of third-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon stemming from a May 18 incident in which Canoy and her husband, Jerry Canoy, told police Howland had threatened them with a machete and firearms, and they feared for their lives.

While in jail on those charges, Howland was charged with Cynthia Canoy's murder.

Howland's girlfriend, Tiffany Warner, is also facing charges for her involvement in the murder. She is charged with tampering with evidence and has a preliminary hearing for the case Oct. 23.

Howland is in the Scott County Jail without bond and is being represented by public defender Amy Commean.


Pertinent address:

Benton, MO

Scott City, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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