By Casey Scheffler
Country singer Randy Howard was killed on Tuesday night in a shootout with a bounty hunter inside his Tennessee home. Multiple news sites have reported that the 65-year-old singer was in some serious legal troubles. Howard was reported to have been facing charges of fourth offense DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a gun while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license in Marion Country, Tenn. at the time of his death.
The singer was due in court recently and failed to appear which instilled a bench warrant being issued for him. When a bounty hunter working for A-Plus Bail Bonding out of Dunlap, Tenn. arrived at Howard’s home in Lynchburg Tuesday night unexpectedly. Howard is said to have opened fire, according to investigators. The bounty hunter, whose name has been revealed as Jackie Shell returned fire, killing Howard at the scene in self defense was seriously injured during the fight and was transported to Erlanger Hospital for surgery. He is expected to recover from his injuries.
Howard’s friend Terry Dotson told Nashville TV station WSMV that he had tried to drive Howard to his court appearance, but the singer brushed him off. “He said he wasn’t going back to jail. That’s what he told me,” Dotson said.
Randy Howard is best known as part of the Outlaw Country movement that spawned Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck and more. His released his debut album, “Now and Then,” in 1976, and would go on to record “All American Redneck” for Warner Bros. in 1983, and a self-titled album for Atlantic in 1988.
The singer’s death has raised caused quite a stir raising a number of new questions about the rights of bounty hunters. Most states require bondsmen to be licensed, however, Tennessee doesn’t. In the case of the Randy Howard killing the bounty hunter had a warrant, and he claims to have fired in self-defense, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tells WSMV that Howard was in his own home, where he had the legal right to defend himself.
Randy Howard’s death is currently under full investigation.