Wife targeted in murder-for-hire finds forgiveness with faith

Nancy Howard, who was targeted by her husband in a murder-for-hire plot and shot, talked to News 8 exclusively about her ordeal and how faith has allowed her to find forgiveness in her heart.

CARROLLTON -- Nancy Howard describes the last two years as "a living nightmare."

In August of 2012, as she drove into her garage, a gunman pulled a weapon and demanded her purse.

"I physically shoved my purse into his chest and I said, 'Jesus, save me,' and he shot me," she told News 8.

Howard was shot in the face.

"I was gurgling blood and couldn't breath," she said.

She knew she needed help quickly. "I heard God speak to me, and he said, 'Get up, get up.'"

Bleeding, Howard first crawled and then was able to get up and walk into her kitchen and call 911.

The bullet entered her temple and lodged in her right lung. Her survival is miraculous.

"It is a miracle and that is my God," she said. "My God is more powerful than a speeding bullet."

While recovering in the hospital, Nancy got a call from her husband of more than 30 years, Frank Howard.

"He tells me that he needs to tell me something that is going to come out, which is that he was having an affair," she said.

While that news was a surprise, Nancy soon got more shocking news: Frank had been arrested for hiring a hitman to kill her.

"I was in disbelief," she said. "Truly, in disbelief."

And the news kept coming. Frank Howard's former boss sued him for allegedly embezzling more than $6 million. Police say part of that money was used to hire the hitman to shoot Nancy.

Police say Frank Howard planned the hit for more than three years so he could be with his lover, whom he lavished with expensive homes, money, and gifts. More than 10 people were involved in the hit.

This month, Frank Howard went to trial. His mistress took the stand.

We asked Nancy Howard what it was like to face her husband's mistress in court.

"Everything from the bottom of my guts wanted to just throw up," she said. "I was just sick."

Frank Howard was convicted and given a life sentence. Afterward, Nancy got to address him in court.

"I told him I forgive him for the lies, for the adultry, for the busting up our family," Nancy Howard said.

The couple's children testified on their father's behalf, and that was difficult for her, but she understood.

"They were raised to love, honor, and respect their dad," Nancy Howard said.

Nancy Howard lost her right eye and the bullet is still lodged in her lung. Her recovery has been excrutiating, but she turned to her faith to strengthen her.

It was also her faith that allowed her to forgive all those involved.

"I still feel some very big hurt, but if I wasn't able to forgive, bitterness would just take over and my life would be controlled by that bitterness, anger, and rage," she told us.

Nancy Howard said God didn't spare her life to be angry, but to turn her pain into purpose; to tell her story of survival to help other hurting women.


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