Donaldsonville man shoots his wife; arrested for second-degree murder

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
Jarvis Howard

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives are currently investigating a homicide that occurred mid-Monday morning, July 21 at 1103 Maginnis Street in Donaldsonville, according to Chief Tony Bacala.

Deputies responded to the residence after the Sheriff’s Office received a call at 10:09 a.m. from someone who said that Jaris Howard called and said that he had just killed his wife, 27-year-old Shella “Shay” Howard.  When the deputies arrived on scene, they entered the home and found Shay dead in her bathroom.   She had been shot several times.

At 10:21 a.m., deputies received information that Jaris was at a relative’s home in Donaldsonville and were able to arrest him there without incident.

Jaris and Shay’s six-year-old child was at the location where Jaris was arrested and had been at their home when the murder occurred.  The child told investigators that her parents had been in an argument the previous night and the child indicated that she heard the gunshots that killed her mother but did not witness the murder.

According to Chief Bacala, in April deputies responded to the Howard residence for a domestic disturbance.  At the time, Jaris and Shay were separated and living apart.  Shay called to report that Jaris had come into the home while she was sleeping and had left before deputies arrived.  Chief Bacala indicated that there were no acts of violence and deputies suggested to Shay that she seek a Temporary Restraining Order.  However, there is no record of her attempting to obtain such an order.

Jaris Howard, 31, of 1103 Maginnis Street, Donaldsonville was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail where no bond has been set at this time.

Jaris Howard’s criminal history shows that he has been arrested 11 times; beginning in 2000 and his arrests include narcotics charges, weapons violations, and robbery.  He has convictions for drug charges in 2000 and 2010 and a conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2010.

This case is still under investigation at this time. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office at 225-621-INFO (4636) or by texting 847411 to our anonymous tip line from any cellular device or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).