Following the murder of a well-known realtor by her sister, a St. Petersburg neighborhood is inconsolable, according to police.
The deceased was named by police as Sherry Lynn Howard, 54, and her sister Charee Howard, 39, was accused of second-degree murder.
“I’m shocked, because she was the type that pushed sisterhood and for her to leave this way, by the hands of her sister. I mean, I send my prayers to the whole family, but it’s just tragic for her to leave this way,” Brookins said.
According to the police report, Charee Howard called 911 and said she choked her sister to death. Police said the sisters lived together and nobody else was home at the time.
Charee Howard is now charged with second-degree murder.
Charee Howard is an accomplished medical doctor, involved in her community and as her brother describes her, “as sweet as cotton candy.” But right now, she’s behind bars at the Pinellas County jail, charged with murdering her older sister, Sherry Lynn.
Her family blames mental illness.
Howard’s family said their concerns worsened during her first appearance hearing Wednesday when the bailiff said she was uncooperative. McClain says their concerns are warranted.
“I can already tell you I’ve tell you I have question marks on this case, especially given the history and the closeness of the sisters and the community’s response,” she said. “So, the attorney involved would just go to first appearances and if the person is not capable of even going to that, then there’s a concern raised about mental health issues.”
“If it’s believed by the attorney or the family and other parties that underlying mental health disorder that was not treated or treated was contributory to that person not being able to appreciate the wrongfulness of their actions or the consequences, then it could be considered as a mental health defense,” she said. “Now you can have a mental health disorder and have intent to kill someone.”
Mental health is one of the major concerns we’re hearing about more and more when a gruesome crime occurs. In one of the latest tragedies in the Bay Area where a woman is accused of murdering her older sister, their family believes mental illness played a role.
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