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TN- Police say man killed self, two daughters

Posted in Related Deaths
3-25-2006 Tennessee:

Local man shoots, kills himself as officer discovers rape charge

The bodies of two young girls and their father, a Clarksville man wanted on rape charges, were found in a car in Oak Ridge Thursday following what police are calling a murder-suicide.

Richard Alfonso Howard, 32, was approached Thursday morning in his car by a TVA police officer patrolling a parking lot at the Bull Run Fossil plant, about 15 miles west of Knoxville in East Tennessee, said Jim Carver, director of TVA police.

The officer asked Howard why he was there, and Howard said he had run out of gas and was waiting for someone, Carver said.

The officer initially did not notice the girls, who were covered in the back of the vehicle, Carver said. After the officer ran a check on Howard's plate numbers, he discovered the outstanding rape warrants.

When he returned to Howard's Ford Crown Victoria he found him slumped over the steering wheel, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

Police searched the car and found the bodies of Howard's daughters — Brionna, 3, and Markayla, 2 — with a suicide note in which he admitted to killing them, police said.

Investigators declined to say when or how the toddlers died. Howard had two outstanding rape warrants involving a 15-year-old girl at a local motel last summer.

The teen told Clarksville police in August Howard took her to the Holiday Drive motel on July 4 and forced her to have sex with him against her will, according to a report by CPD Detective Shane Dortch. ..more.. by HEATHER DONAHOE

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