PRESS RELEASE ________________________

January 11, 2016

Paulding District Attorney Dick Donovan announces that a Dallas man will spend the next twenty years in prison after pleading guilty Monday morning to two armed robberies in Paulding County.

The lead prosecutor, Senior Assistant District Attorney David Lyles, laid out the facts for the court.

On June 18, 2014, at approximately 8am Christopher Michael Howard, 26, entered the Pure Gas Station located at 231 West Memorial Drive in Dallas. He walked up to the counter, pointed a handgun at the clerk, and demanded her money. After the clerk complied with his demands, Howard fired multiple shots at her, striking her in the neck and back, before he fled the store. A passing motorist saw Howard fleeing the store and followed him while on the phone with 911 until law enforcement apprehended him.

The other incident occurred three days earlier on June 15, 2014, around 6:30am in the parking lot of Roses Store, located on Buchanan Highway at the intersection of Ga 113. The victim, Mr. White had stopped to purchase a drink believing that the store was open at the time. As he returned to his vehicle a man approached him and asked use his cell phone. While that man was using Mr. White’s phone, Howard approached Mr. White, produced a handgun, and took Mr. White’s money and a debit card.

“This plea ensures that this defendant will no longer be a threat to the citizens and business owners of Paulding County,” David Lyles said. “Because of the nature of the charges against him, Mr. Howard is not eligible for parole and will serve every day of his twenty-year sentence.”

Judge Dean Bucci, who accepted the negotiated plea, followed Lyles’s recommendation and sentenced Mr. Howard to an additional 5 years on probation for having used a firearm during the commission of the crime.

Marietta Attorney John Rife represented the defendant, who had been held in custody at the Paulding County Detention Center since his arrest in June 2014.