PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A man has been convicted of first degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony in connection the shooting death of Maurice Gore, the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney announced Wednesday.
Gore was found shot on April 9, 2017 in the 2300 block of Charleston Avenue. Howell was arrested a few days later.
The Commonwealth argued for a life sentence on the murder charge based on Howell’s criminal record and testimony from Gore’s relatives. Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Almetia Hardman obtained a recommended life sentenced on the charge of first degree murder, along with the mandatory minimum three year sentence for a use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.
According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Howell shot Gore 10 to 12 times, including one shot the Gore’s right temple.
When interviewed by police, Howell admitted to shooting the victim, but claimed the shooting was done in self-defense. However, a forensic technician found four bullets embedded in the floor under Gore’s body, which supports the Commonwealth’s argument that Howell premeditated the execution-style shooting of the victim.
Howell had a prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter at the time he killed Gore.
Howell’s sentencing hearing will be on July 23.