January 28, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Hearing for Man Arrested with Weapons in Santa Monica could be Scrapped

9:37am

Santa Monica Car Explosives Pride LA 1
The cache of weapons found in Howell’s car. Photo Credit: Jeff Nguyen KCBS/KCAL

The scheduled court appearance today of a man arrested in Santa Monica allegedly in possession of weapons and explosive materials following the Orlando massacre and before an LGBT parade in West Hollywood could be scrapped, an FBI official said.

James Wesley Howell “remains in state custody while investigators consult with prosecutors at the District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and the United States Attorney’s Office to determine whether Mr. Howell will be charged at either the state or federal level in relation to the weapons and other items found in his vehicle,” said Laura Eimiller of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. Howell, 20, of Indiana, is scheduled to appear in at the Airport Branch court. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail on suspicion of weapons and explosives possession, according to Santa Monica police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks and jail records.

Santa Monica Car Explosives Pride LA 4
Howell’s car found in Santa Monica containing weapons. Photo Credit: Jeff Nguyen KCBS/KCAL

Howell was arrested about 5 a.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of 11th Street, near Olympic Boulevard, Seabrooks said. Police said Howell was found sitting in his car when officers responded to a report of a man knocking on a resident’s door and window. Officers examining Howell’s white Acura sedan with Indiana license plates recovered three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition along with a 5-gallon bucket with chemicals that could have been used to make an improvised explosive device, police said.

The sheriff’s department bomb squad was called to help make sure the vehicle and area were safe, police said. Howell told police he was planning to attend the 46th annual LA Pride Parade and Festival in West Hollywood, but made no reference to doing harm there, according to Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez. “He did not make any additional statements saying he was going to do anything further than” attend the event, Rodriguez said.

Police said Howell and his car were found about seven miles from the event, police said. Seabrooks and Rodriguez said there was no known connection between Howell and the overnight mass-shooting in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded in the nation’s worst mass shooting. Security was increased at Sunday’s LA Pride festival as a result of the Orlando massacre and Howell’s arrest, said Lt. Vance Duffy of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.

Santa Monica police and the FBI were continuing to investigate the case. Howell was arrested less than a year ago for allegedly pointing a gun at his neighbors, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited Indiana court records. He was charged in October with felony intimidation and pointing a firearm at another person.

On April 19, Howell accepted a deal in which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor intimidation, was sentenced to a year in state prison but was placed on probation, the newspaper reported. Howell agreed to forfeit all weapons during probation. Authorities in the Southland have been trying to determine Howell’s intentions. Joseph Greeson, 18, a friend of Howell’s and a fellow car club member, said Howell didn’t harbor any ill will toward gays or lesbians and that he is bisexual, The Times reported.

Related Posts

Was This California’s Biggest-Ever Bair and Switch?

January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021

By Tom Elias, Yo! Venice Columnist It may have been the biggest bait and switch event ever perpetrated in  California, affecting...

Edify TV: Venice Flying Carousel

January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021

Since 2018 Venice artist Robin Murez has been working on a project called the Venice Flying Carousel. Learn more in...

Edify TV: New Medical Center Planned for Westside

January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021

A medical office and research center is planned to rise in a Westside neighborhood. Learn more in this video made...

Increased Fire Activity Near Venice Beach Boardwalk and Rose Ave: YO! Venice Show – January, 25, 2021

January 25, 2021

January 25, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Increased Fire Activity Near Venice Beach Boardwalk and Rose Ave *...

Police Seek Suspect in Attempted Venice Break-In

January 25, 2021

January 25, 2021

Notice circulated following January 19 incident on Brooks Ave By Chad Winthrop Police have released a photo of a suspect...

Seven-Story Apartment Survives Appeal

January 24, 2021

January 24, 2021

City Planning Commission upholds approval for 31-unit Westwood Boulevard apartment development By Chad Winthrop A seven-story Westside development has survived...

Edify TV: Affordable Senior Housing Rises in Westside Neighborhood

January 24, 2021

January 24, 2021

A four-story senior affordable housing project is rising in a Westside neighborhood. Learn more in this video made possible by...

Venice Student Receives Education Award from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Seven area students were presented Education Awards by The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition at the first-ever...

Venice-Area DUI Checkpoint This Weekend

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

DUI and license checkpoint Friday night at Venice-area intersection By Chad Winthrop A Los Angeles Police Department DUI checkpoint is...

Edify TV: Westside Hot Chocolate Standouts

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

With both rain and National Hot Chocolate Day on the horizon, get cozy with these standout hot chocolates on the...

Missing Women Kolby Story’s Family and Friends Seek Answers: YO! Venice Show – January, 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Missing Women Kolby Story’s Family and Friends Seek Answers * Los...

Popular San Francisco Sandwich Shop Opening in Westside

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 21, 2021 By Kerry Slater Santa Monica Pastry Shop Closes  A beloved Santa Monica pastry shop...

Food Review: A Darn Good but Pricey Burger

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Smash burgers done right at Tripp Burgers By Kerry Slater Surrounded by a collection of strip malls, a Westside pop-up...

FDA-Authorized Coronavirus Testing at Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Drive-thru and walk-up testing seven-days a week   The award-winning Shore Hotel, located steps away from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier,...

‘Doctor’s Office on Wheels’ Homeless and Those at Risk of Losing Homes

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Venice Family Clinic launches mobile clinic van aimed at preventing homelessness By Chad Winthrop A Venice non-profit has launched a...