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Homicide investigation into Orting man’s death continues

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm with 3 Comments »
March 17, 2010 3:27 pm

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives continue to look into last weekend’s death of a medical marijuana patient who’d been attacked at his Orting-area home.

No arrests have been made in Michael S. Howard’s death and no motive revealed, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Wednesday.

Howard, 38, was hit over the head early on March 9. He heard suspicious noises outside his home in the 17700 block of 147th Avenue East, armed himself with a can of bear spray and went to investigate. He was hit on the head by an unknown person.

Howard talked to deputies who responded to his home about the attack but was unable to provide a description of his attacker. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, where his condition worsened. He died Saturday after a blood clot went from his leg into his lungs, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

Howard, who used medical marijuana for back pain after a couple of accidents several years ago, had 150 pot plants in the shed next to the home. Thieves had targeted the plants when Howard was in jail in an unrelated assault case, said Renee Resser, who also lived at the home.

Investigators were looking into whether Howard was targeted because of the plants.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. interWOLFone says:

    IMPO…if you are going to cultivate a controlled substance…you’d better have something better than a can of bear spray to defend yourself with.

  2. rosehaven says:

    Even if he had only 15 plants, other druggies might target him as they steal anything to provide for their habit. I hope they get a tip on who did this crime.

    There are much better ways to deal with back pain via better care from doctors. They get hooked on drugs and their lives get ruined one way or another.

    It sounds like he was fighting or had disputes prior to this home invasion. This is a very sad ending of his life, but likely a larger investigation!

  3. interWOLFone wrote, “if you are going to cultivate a controlled substance…you’d better have something better than a can of bear spray to defend yourself with”

    Note that people are often charged with more serious crimes when police find a gun in a home where cannabis plants are being grown.


    Phil, CDC member

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