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News / Northwest

Former Idaho State Police trooper charged with killing wife

By Garrett Cabeza, The Spokesman-Review
Published: April 23, 2023, 1:20pm

Spokane — A former Idaho State Police trooper was arrested Friday for the alleged killing of his wife in 2021.

Daniel Howard, 57, of Athol, turned himself in to the Kootenai County Jail Friday night after an arrest warrant was obtained, charging Howard with the Feb. 2, 2021, murder of his wife, Kendy Howard, according to a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office news release. The warrant also charged Howard with felony domestic battery.

Details surrounding Kendy Howard’s death were not released. Howard is being held without bond, according to sheriff’s office Lt. Zachary Sifford.

About 10 years ago, Daniel Howard learned his wife had an affair with his friend, Matthew Wood, the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office said in a 2015 Spokesman-Review story. Daniel Howard then threatened Wood and, later, poured syrup in Wood’s vehicles, left him vulgar messages and fired a shotgun in his house, the prosecutor’s office alleged. Daniel Howard admitted to some of those acts and agreed to pay restitution to Wood.

Investigators also found thousands of rounds of ISP ammunition at Daniel Howard’s Athol residence and said the ammo had disappeared when they returned weeks later with a search warrant. He claimed he kept the ammo at his house for convenience because he was a shooting range officer and lived near the range.

Daniel Howard resigned from state police in November 2014 after 19 years of service. He was sentenced in early 2015 for malicious injury to property, petty theft, title fraud and failing to tag a deer he shot.

“I screwed up and I stand here utterly ashamed,” Howard said at sentencing.

“I will forever endeavor to correct these wrongs.”

First District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson placed Howard on probation.

He also ordered Howard to serve four months in jail and perform 600 hours of community service.

Simpson said he believed Howard acted under stress brought about by his return to duty following a 2011 police shooting in which he killed a woman, followed by Howard learning of his wife’s relationship with Wood.

“It’s obvious to me that you were not yourself, you were a broken human being,” Simpson said. “You rehabilitated yourself. A lesser man could not have done that.”

Kendy Howard was one of the people who spoke on Howard’s behalf at sentencing. The pair reconciled.

Many people said at sentencing that Howard was different after the 2011 on-duty shooting when he fired as a fleeing fugitive backed a Jeep into him. He mistakenly shot the female passenger. The shooting was determined to be justified and Howard returned to duty.

According to Kendy Howard’s obituary, she worked at Kootenai Health and was known for her “bright smile and outgoing personality.” She loved being outside, going to concerts, enjoying friendships and a “good brewery.”

She was survived by her parents, children, granddaughter and brother.

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