Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office News Release

45 Years Later……. Always Remembered


August 24, 2018


Lincolnton, NC –Sunday, August 26, 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of a Lincoln County Sheriff’s sergeant killed in the line of duty.

It was August 26, 1973 when Lincoln County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Hugh Howell, II responded to a domestic dispute in which a man had assaulted his daughter.

When Sgt. Howell arrived on the scene the man’s son let him in the house. While inside the residence the officer exchanged shots with the father who was armed with a .22 caliber rifle. Deputy Howell was struck in the chest and hand. He was able to make it to his patrol car and called for assistance before succumbing to his wounds.

The suspect was arrested and charged with murder and assault. He was convicted of second degree murder on March 1, 1974 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was released on May 28, 1982 after serving just over eight years for the crime. In May of 1995 the convicted killer died when a tractor overturned on him.

Sergeant Howell who had been with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for two years was a decorated U. S. Army veteran receiving the Bronze Star for actions in Vietnam.

The annual Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officer of the Year award is named for Sgt. Howell. The street that runs past the Sheriff’s Office law enforcement center is named the John Howell Memorial Drive. The memory of Sgt. John Howell remains constant and carries on. May Sgt. Howell rest in peace and always be remembered for his ultimate sacrifice.

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