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Homicide at Belle Plains Road Residence

An arrest followed a three-hour search.

Homicide at Belle Plains Road residence.  File photo by Susan Larson.
Homicide at Belle Plains Road residence. File photo by Susan Larson.
William Conner, age 35, of Stafford County, died after allegedly being shot late Sunday at 636 Belle Plains Rd.

Stafford County Sheriff's units responded to the scene at about 10:18 p.m. on Jan. 19.  "When deputies arrived they came in contact with a friend of the victim, who said that Mr. Conner had been shot on the front porch and that the man who had shot him was possibly still in the residence," Kennedy said.


According to deputies, the woman said her friend had staggered off of the porch. "The victim was located, dead, in the yard of the residence," Kennedy said.  

Units from the Sheriff’s Office maintained a perimeter around the suspect’s residence and numerous attempts were made to contact the alleged shooter.

A helicopter from the Maryland State Police was called in to assist, as law enforcement were unsure the suspect was still in the house. 

Shortly after 1:25 a.m., members of the Stafford Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team took Mark Howsare into custody.  "He was in his bathroom, armed with a handgun, Kennedy said.  "He was taken into custody without further incident."

"The initial investigation indicates that the victim in this incident, who frequently visited the residence, had gone to a local store to return an air mattress for Mr. Howsare, but was unable to do so," Kennedy said. 

When the victim returned to the residence, he was locked out of the house.  "An argument ensued with Mr. Howsare, who was still inside," Kennedy said.  During that argument, Mr. Howsare opened the door and fired a handgun, with several of the shots hitting the victim.  The reasons for the argument are unclear at this time."

Howsare, age 62, has been charged with one count of First Degree Murder in the shooting, Kennedy said.  He is currently incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing.  "No other information will be available at this time," Kennedy said.

Another crime unfolded on Belle Plains Road in 2013:

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