Man sentenced to life for strangling mother; burning her, 2 dogs in car

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Scott City, Missouri man was sentenced to life in prison for strangling his mother with a dog leash and then burning her body and her two dogs in her car.

His sentencing was on January 19 in New Madrid. A motion for new trial taken up and overruled.

Neil Howland was found guilty of first-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution, knowingly burning or exploding and two charges of animal abuse. He received an additional four years per charge for the other crimes.

According to Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, the trial took place Thursday-Friday, Dec. 7-8 in New Madrid County, Missouri after a change of venue request.

They called 11 witnesses to the stand.

Howland was found guilty of strangling his mother at her home in Oak St. in Scott City. He then drove her and her two dogs in her car to a cornfield where he set the car on fire. The dogs were burned alive.

This happened in August 2013.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper testified that in an hour-long confession, Howland admitted to strangling his mother with a dog leash.

When Howland took the stand, Swingle said he claimed he made a false confession.

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