Arrests Announced in Jasper Howard Case

<p>UConn Police Chief Robert Hudd speaks during a press conference  on Tuesday. Photo by Daniel Buttrey</p>
UConn Police Chief Robert Hudd speaks during a press conference on Tuesday. Photo by Daniel Buttrey

UConn and state police today announced the arrest of three people in connection with the Oct. 18 stabbing death of UConn football player Jasper Howard.

John William Lomax III, 21, of Bloomfield was charged with murder and first degree conspiracy to commit assault. He is being held on $2 million bond. Hakim Muhammad, 20, of Bloomfield, was charged with first degree conspiracy to commit assault. He is being held on $750,000 bond. And Jamal Todd, 21, of Hartford, was charged with falsely reporting an incident and reckless endangerment. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Lomax and Muhammad will be arraigned Oct. 28 in Rockville Superior Court. Todd, who was charged with pulling the fire alarm that abruptly ended a dance in the Student Union, sending 300 people out onto Hillside Road shortly after midnight Oct. 18, will be arraigned Nov. 10, also in Rockville.

Howard was killed moments after the alarm. He was taken by LifeStar helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he was pronounced dead. Another player, Brian Parker, also was stabbed. He was treated and released at Windham Community Memorial Hospital.

Arrest warrants for the three were signed Monday, even as Howard was being eulogized at the New Birth Baptist Church in Miami, where he grew up.

During a press conference at the UConn police station on Tuesday, UConn Police Chief Robert Hudd said state and UConn police have been working “non-stop” since the incident occurred. He  praised the “tremendous cooperation of the State Police and their Major Crime Squad. We would not have solved this crime without their help.”

John A. Danaher III, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, said, “There is no system of justice that can take back those who have been taken away from us. What we can do is bring those who have committed the crimes to justice.”

<p>Maj. Ronald Blicher of the UConn Police Department at the podium, and, second from right, Commissioner John A. Danaher III of the state Department of Public Safety. Photo by Daniel Buttrey</p>
Maj. Ronald Blicher of the UConn Police Department at the podium, and, second from right, Commissioner John A. Danaher III of the state Department of Public Safety. Photo by Daniel Buttrey

Maj. Ronald Blicher of the UConn police said that more than 40 investigators have worked on the case since the murder, interviewing more than 200 people. UConn and state police also collected video and photos taken on cell phones during the melee on Hillside Road, and looked for evidence at various campus locations using dogs and a state police diver, who scoured Swan Lake last weekend.

In an e-mail to the community sent after the press conference, UConn President Michael Hogan said, “We continue to mourn the loss of our Jasper. Nothing can replace the void in our hearts left by his death. Yet, I know that many of you will feel reassured by today’s news. Our UConn Police Department has done an outstanding job – both investigating the case and ensuring the ongoing safety of our community throughout this difficult time. We are also grateful to the state police, who have provided us with much-valued support during the investigation.

“During the last 10 days, the UConn community has stood together in support of one another, with kindness and compassion,” Hogan added. “I ask that we continue the compassion and dignity, as we grieve our loss and even as the grief subsides. Becoming a more caring and compassionate community out of this tragedy is perhaps one of the best ways we can honor Jasper’s memory.”