Navarre man indicted for first and second-degree murder for Sept. double homicide

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Navarre man indicted for first and second-degree murder for Sept. double homicide

Via www.pnj.com

A Santa Rosa County grand jury indicted a Navarre man Monday in the murders of his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s stepfather.

Courtney William Howell, 39, stands accused of stabbing to death Samantha Huffman, 32, and John Hendricks, 58, on Sept. 13 in their Navarre home at 2607 Bob White Circle, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins.

The indictment charges Howell with first-degree murder in Hendricks’ death and second-degree murder in the slaying of Huffman.

Shortly after Howell’s Sept. 13 arrest, Eddins and Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson released details of the crime scene to the public at a press conference.

“It was one of the most clear and highly disturbing scenes that the sheriff and I have ever seen,” said Eddins, who traveled to the crime scene with an assistant state attorney.

“We reviewed the matter last night and this morning and agreed that it is appropriate in this case, to present his case to a grand jury and seek a first-degree premeditated murder indictment,” Eddins said. “As you know, under Florida law, only a grand jury can charge someone with first-degree murder.”

Santa Rosa County sheriff’s deputies responded to the residence about 6 p.m., where they found Howell standing in the front yard covered with blood and discovered Huffman and Hendricks with multiple stab wounds and unresponsive inside the home.

Huffman and Hendricks were pronounced dead at the scene.

Howell is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 17 for a status hearing.

The State Attorney’s Office has assigned Assistant State Attorney Bridgette Jensen to prosecute the case.

Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at colinwarrenhicks@pnj.com or 850-435-8680.

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