Man Executed For Pipe Bomb Death Of Florida Trooper

By: Associated Press, Garin Flowers Email
By: Associated Press, Garin Flowers Email
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Updated by: Garin Flowers
February 26, 2014

I was escorted in and 14 witnesses were already sitting down, quietly staring forward into a window with a curtain. I was advised by the Department of Corrections neither family would be there to watch and they weren't.

At 6:15 p.m., the curtain opened. Death row inmate Paul Howell quickly raised his head with his eyes wide open, staring out into the crowd, since he could see us, like we could see him.

Howell used his final words to apologize to the Fulford family for what he did back in 1992.

He said he had a conversation with his cousin, where they decided to put the bomb in a microwave instead of a TV, since the victim would have to warm milk for her baby.

Also, Howell said he told Lester Watson - who he paid to deliver the gift-wrapped box with a bomb in it - whatever you do, don't let a cop pull you over.

Well, Howell explained that Watson was pulled over and that Fulford picked up the package and shook it. He says Watson told him he was surprised it didn't go off at that time.

Eventually, it did when Fulford opened it and Howell said he was sorry about it.

He finished off his statement saying God bless you guys and that he will never forget the Fulford family for seeking a life in prison sentence for him, instead of the death penalty.

Around 6:19, authorities started the lethal injection process.

By 6:20, Howell's eyes started to close and his breaths became shorter and shorter. You could also see a small jerk in his left arm.

By 6:22, I couldn't notice anymore movement and a guard checked his body.

Then at 6:31, a doctor came out and checked Howell's pulse. At 6:32, the doctor looked at one of the guards, shook his head and walked out.

Howell was announced dead.

In the room was Howell's attorney, State Attorney Willie Meggs, Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs, Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel and Major Mark Welch with FHP, who said the patrol lost one of its most courageous and brave officers 22 years ago this month.

"Rather than reflect on the incident that happened this night, we prefer to use this opportunity to honor Trooper Fulford and let this serve as a reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face each and every day they put on their uniform and leave their homes and families behind," Welch said.

Afterwards, the witnesses walked out, then the journalists were allowed to leave.

News Release: Associated Press News
February 26, 2014, 6:45pm


STARKE, Fla. (AP) -- A man who booby-trapped a microwave oven with a pipe bomb that killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper has been executed.

Authorities say 48-year-old Paul Augustus Howell was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. Wednesday after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison.

Howell was condemned for the February 1992 killing of Trooper Jimmy Fulford, who died in an explosion after opening the gift-wrapped microwave during a traffic stop.

Howell rented a car and paid another man to deliver the box to a woman elsewhere in Florida. En route, the man was pulled over by Fulford for speeding on Interstate 10 near Tallahassee.

Authorities say Howell was called and asked if the man had permission to drive the car, but Howell never warned a dispatcher about the bomb in the trunk.

Updated By: Garin Flowers
February 26, 2014, 4:30pm

A death row inmate is just hours away from being executed at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Paul Howell was convicted for the 1992 bombing death of Jefferson County Trooper Jimmy Fulford.

Howell's last meal was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, according to a Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

The DOC also says Howell had one friend visit and met with his Catholic spiritual adviser.

He is set to be executed by lethal injection.

News Release: Associated Press News

STARKE, Fla. (AP) -- The man who built a bomb that killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection.

Drug trafficker Paul Howell is set to die for the February 1992 murder of Trooper Jimmy Fulford at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Florida State Prison.

Howell rented a car and paid another man to deliver a gift-wrapped box to a woman in Marianna. Along the way, Fulford pulled the man over for speeding on Interstate 10 just east of Tallahassee.

The man gave Fulford a false name and birthdate and was arrested. Howell was called about the rental car and asked if Fulford had permission to be driving it and never warned the dispatcher the bomb was in the trunk.

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