Teen installed stripper pole, held drug-fueled parties after kil - FOX Carolina 21

Teen installed stripper pole, held drug-fueled parties after killing father, hiding body

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Crystal Howell (File) Crystal Howell (File)
MAGGIE VALLEY, NC (FOX Carolina) -

A Maggie Valley woman has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing her father and hiding the body back in 2014, according to the Haywood County Clerk of Court’s office.

Crystal Howell, now 20, pleaded guilty to murder and concealment of death on Monday.

A judge sentenced Howell to 60 to 84 months in prison for the concealment charge and life in prison with the possibility of parole on the murder charge. She must serve at least 25 years before she will be eligible for parole.

Deputies said they found the body of 50-year-old Michael Howell in a blue plastic container in a storage building on his property in the Sheepback Mountain community in March 2014. His daughter had shot him in the head with a shotgun while he was sleeping a month earlier.

“Miss Howell had previously told her friends that her father had killed himself,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones.  “She then started to drive his car and spend his money.  She had her friends move in, had a drug-fueled party, and even had a stripper pole installed in the kitchen.”

A day after finding the body, deputies tracked down Crystal Howell, then only 17, to an address in Augusta, GA with her father's car and a UHAUL full of items from the home. She was arrested and charged with murder.

“It’s shocking that a young woman kills her father," District Attorney Ashley Welch stated.  But the fact that Howell then began to spend her father’s money, use his house, and drive his car – all after hiding his body and the evidence of her crime – that’s the motive.  She wanted to live on her terms at the expense of Michael Howell’s life.  It’s very sad,” 

PREVIOUSLY: Teen returns to NC after dad found dead in bin
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