Tim Howard was sentenced to death for the 1998 murders in Ashdown, AR of Brian Day, his best friend, and Day’s wife Shanon Day, who was also a close friend. He was also convicted of attempting to kill the couple’s infant son.
Attention was drawn to Howard’s case in 2002 when the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed Howard’s conviction, but with three of the seven justices dissenting, writing that they did not find sufficient evidence even to convict Howard — let alone to sentence him to death. It was also discovered that DNA testing done in the case and used to help convict Tim was contaminated — a fact known to the prosecutors but illegally withheld from the defense team. On October 29, 2013 Judge Charles Yeargan granted Tim a new trial based largely on this withheld evidence.
In 2015, Tim’s second trial took place in Ashdown, AR. He was charged with three capital counts, three first-degree counts, and three second-degree counts. During the trial, the prosecutor, Brian Chesshir, injected racial undertones, all but stating ‘this black man wears our clothes and dates our women’ to the jury. The trial lasted over two weeks and went to the jury on the Friday afternoon before Mother’s Day. After several hours of deliberation, late into the night the jury reached a compromise verdict: acquittal of all capital and first-degree charges, conviction on the second-degree charges. It was later confirmed by multiple jurors they expected Tim to be released with time served. Unfortunately, that was not the case and Tim remains in prison in Arkansas for a crime he did not commit.
Note: Most of the credit for Tim getting this far goes to several dedicated supporters, including the incomparable Mara Leveritt, as well as his attorneys, including current lead attorney Patrick Benca. Proclaim Justice is not the lead organization on Tim’s case, but have been happy to lend assistance.
Write Tim at
Tim Howard #160909
PO Box 600
Grady, AR 71644-0600