Neil A. Howard, 44.EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced Thursday that a Troy man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the strangulation death of the man’s mother.

Neil A. Howard, 44, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. The charges allege that, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, Howard caused the death of his mother, Norma J. Caraker, 60, by strangling her. At about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Troy Police responded to a request to check on the welfare of a resident at a home in the 600 block of Lower Marine Road. Officers were met at the residence by Howard.

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Inside the residence, officers located Caraker, unresponsive and not breathing. Efforts to resuscitate her were not successful. Howard was taken into custody without incident.

“I commend the Troy Police Department and the assisting agencies for their tireless, thorough work,” Haine said. “Thanks to the efforts of our local police agencies – and the efforts of community leaders past and present – we have safe neighborhoods in Madison County. The State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to send a strong message that we intend to keep our communities free of violence.”

Associate Judge Ronald Slemer set the defendant’s bail at $3 million. Howard remained in custody Thursday afternoon at the Madison County Jail. This charge and the statements made herein are based upon probable cause. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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