Jury finds Howard guilty in Vancouver double homicide

first_imgProsecutors believe that Arkangel Howard is facing a life sentence without the possibility of release after a jury found him guilty Friday morning in the fatal shooting of two Portland-area men at an east Vancouver apartment complex.Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu said the convictions should count as a “third-strike” offense. Under the state’s three-strikes law, offenders convicted three times of certain violent and sexual felonies receive mandatory life sentences.Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before finding Howard, 32, of Portland guilty as charged in the murders of Allen J. Collins Jr. and Jason D. Benton.Collins, 37, and Benton, 42, were helping Howard move his then-girlfriend’s belongings when he shot them on the evening of March 19 in the apartment complex’s parking lot. A motive was never revealed.Howard will be sentenced April 20 on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.“I believe it was a just verdict, a correct verdict based upon the evidence presented in this case,” Vu said afterward.He said Howard’s prior convictions in Oregon should be comparable to crimes here that would count as strike offenses.It was unclear what crimes may qualify, however. Multnomah County court records show a number of cases for Howard, including felony convictions for third-degree robbery from 2004, attempting to commit a class A felony from 2005 and hindering prosecution from 2008.last_img