Butler man indicted for attempted murder of police officer, other crimes

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp has announced that a Morris County Grand Jury has returned two Indictments against Dylan Howard (aka Dylan Hannah) related to a series of crimes occurring in Butler between March 8 and March 31, 2016, including the Attempted Murder of a Butler patrol officer. 

On March 8 and March 9, it is alleged that Howard, 24, Butler, and co-defendant Michael Nelson conspired to commit the crime of Shoplifting at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Butler, both crimes of the fourth degree. Nelson is also charged by way of Indictment with two counts of fourth degree Theft by Deception related to these incidents. 

On March 11 and March 22, it is alleged that Howard committed the crimes of fourth degree Shoplifting at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store. He is also alleged to have committed the fourth degree crime of Theft by Deception during the March 22, incident. 

Additionally, on March 11 and March 22, it is alleged that Howard conspired with co-defendant Joseph Connell to commit the crimes of fourth degree Shoplifting at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store.  Connell previously pleaded guilty in state Superior Court in August 2016 and was sentenced to five years’ probation for his involvement in these crimes.    

On March 29, it is alleged that Howard committed the crime of fourth degree Shoplifting at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Additionally on March 29, it is alleged that Howard and co-defendant David King conspired to commit the crime of fourth degree Shoplifting at the Lowes Home Improvement store. Co-defendant King is also charged by way of Indictment with the fourth degree crimes of Theft by Deception and Receiving Stolen Property for his alleged involvement in this incident.     

On March 31, it is alleged that Howard committed two counts of third degree burglary (into a vehicle and a house), and three counts of third and fourth degree Theft. 

It is also alleged that on March 31, Howard committed the crime of first degree Attempted Murder of a Butler Patrol Officer.

As a result of his alleged conduct during that incident, Howard also has been indicted for the crimes of second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (a rifle), third degree Aggravated Assault for allegedly pointing the rifle at the officer and second degree Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons. The last charge in the indictment is based upon Howard’s 2012 Morris County conviction for Burglary and Possession of a Weapon (firearm) for an Unlawful Purpose.

Howard is now being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility in lieu of $190,000 bail. 

Editors Note: An indictment is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the Defendants charged by way of these Indictments are presumed innocent unless and until each has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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