His wife was described in her obituary as being “well known for her bright smile and outgoing personality.”
Trigger Warning: This article contains details of violence that some readers may find distressing.
A man is facing charges of murder and domestic battery for allegedly killing his wife, two years after he called the police claiming she fatally shot herself. Daniel Howard was arrested on Friday, April 21, in connection with the February 2021 death of his wife, 48-year-old Kendy Howard. The 57-year-old, from Athol, surrendered himself to police on April 21. Howard, who is a former Idaho state police trooper, faces charges of murder after investigators claimed they now found probable cause after determining the woman's wound was not self-inflicted, per Coeur d'Alene Press.
Howard reportedly already has a criminal history and jail records show he also faces a felony domestic battery charge. The charges come from the night of February 2, 2021, when he called authorities and reported that his wife had shot herself. Previously, he also faced charges of grand theft, petit theft, and possession of an untagged deer related to acts in Kootenai County, including stealing thousands of rounds of ammunition from the state police. In 2104, Howard resigned from the Idaho State Police, after initially being put on administrative leave without pay as officials looked into criminal charges he faced in Kootenai and Bonner counties.
According to the Spokesman-Review, Howard also threatened to kill his "best friend" after he found out his wife was having an alleged affair with him. He was accused of pouring syrup into his friend's cars, leaving him indecent messages, and firing a shotgun at his home. Glenn Swearingen, a retired trooper who knew Howard for over two decades, said, “This is not the Dan Howard that I know that has done these things.” His father and his wife, with whom he has reconciled at the time also spoke on his behalf. Many claimed Howard changed after a 2011 on-duty shooting when he fired as a fleeing fugitive backed a Jeep into him and mistakenly fatally shot the female passenger.
Ex-Idaho State Trooper Called Police to Say Wife Shot Herself. Now He's Charged with Murder https://t.co/F9VA8WQGvg— People (@people) April 24, 2023
At the time, Defense attorney Chris Bugbee said Howard was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “He was just falling apart," adding, "He was at rock bottom.” First District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson said, “It’s obvious to me that you were not yourself, you were a broken human being. You rehabilitated yourself. A lesser man could not have done that,” before sentencing him for malicious injury to property, petty theft, title fraud, and failing to tag a deer he shot.
His deceased wife, Kendy was remembered in her obituary as someone who had a "bubbly personality" and "ability to make everyone feel as if they were her friend." The Idaho native is survived by her two children and one grandchild. "She loved being outside, attending concerts, enjoying her many friendships, and a good brewery. She was loved dearly by her family and we cannot express how much we will miss her," it said.
Her daughter is grateful that the case is moving forward and is hoping her mother receives justice. In a recent Facebook post, Brooke Wilkins said that the "last two years have felt like a lifetime" and that she is "so thankful and appreciative to everyone who has worked towards this and has kept my moms memory alive. This is only the beginning but my heart hurts a little less today," she added. Back in 2021, she was suspicious about the circumstance around her mother's death.
According to Law and Crime, she said her father had long subjected her mother to physical and emotional abuse and Kendy was planning to get a divorce in order. “The marriage was always bad,” Wilkins wrote at the time. “But it became terrible the last couple of years. She was coming to work with bruises. She would do anything not to be home when he was. "
Howard termed his wife's death "as a suicide,” she wrote at the time noting that there were "multiple reasons why this doesn’t make sense but I don’t want to interfere with the ongoing investigation.”
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KREM 2 News