Murder-for-hire suspect talks of reconciliation with wife



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Posted on September 18, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 18 at 10:59 PM

DENTON — A Carrollton woman faced her husband in a Denton County courtroom on Tuesday for the first time since he was accused of hiring someone to kill her.

Frank Howard's attorney dropped a bombshell when he said his client was seeking a reconciliation with his estranged wife.

Nancy Howard lost the use of her left eye when she was shot in the head in the driveway of her Carrollton home on August 18.

She entered the courtroom Tuesday with her right arm still in a sling and asked the judge for $250,000 from Frank Howard to cover her medical expenses.

John Franklin Howard appeared clean-shaven, without the goatee he had sported in earlier pictures with his wife and in his police booking photograph.

Howard had posted a $1 million bond pending further action in his criminal case. His attorney told the judge that his client only has about $4,000 to live on, and is unable to keep up with all of his expenses.

Court documents alleged that Mr. Howard spent more than $100,000 trying to find others who would kill his wife. He faces a charge of attempted capital murder.

In divorce papers, Nancy Howard alleged that her estranged husband had confessed a three-year affair involving a California woman, charging him with buying her an $800,000 home and providing her with $500,000 cash, among other things.

Tuesday's hearing revolved around financial issues, with the judge ordering Frank Howard to provide his estranged wife with the money she had requested for medical bills and other expenses.

Attorney Arch McColl said Howard is actively working toward a reconciliation with his estranged wife.

"He would like to reconcile with her, and I believe, she with him," McColl said. "I think they've got a possibility of doing that. I think they're both people of strong faith; he's been very active in his church for 30 years — 25 or 30 years — he sings in the choir."

But Nancy Howard is going forward with her divorce case against Frank Howard, who is also facing a criminal case related to the murder-for-hire allegations along with a lawsuit from his former boss who alleges that he stole money that was allegedly used to hire a hit man.

WFAA spoke exclusively with Nancy Howard; her interview will be broadcast on News 8 at 10.