When a group of juveniles and adults were enjoying a party last summer at a home in Little Rocky Run, little did they expect people to crash it. But happiness soon turned to horror when three intruders forced their way inside — one, armed with a machete.
On May 4 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, the man with the machete pleaded guilty to burglary and abduction of a juvenile. And last Friday, Cody Ramon Howard, 20, of 9451 Lee Highway, Apt. 1214, in Fairfax, was sentenced to six months in jail.
THE INCIDENT occurred Aug. 16, 2003 and, in an Aug. 27 affidavit to seek evidence in Howard's apartment, police Det. Earl M. Bowers presented details. The party was in the 5900 block of Wildbrook Court and, around 12:30 a.m., the men forced open a rear, sliding-glass door of the home.
"One of the men was armed with a machete or similar large knife, the other two with firearms," wrote Bowers. "The three men forced the partygoers onto a couch and demanded money, drugs and cell phones. One of the men physically held a machete to a victim's throat forced him into a dining room, and told him not to move."
The men searched the house, stole two cell phones and fled. The police investigation developed Howard as a suspect because, explained Bowers, "Howard was known to several witnesses as the suspect armed with the machete." One of the witnesses also picked him out of a photographic lineup and identified him as the man who'd carried the machete.
Police executed the search warrant, Aug. 27, 2003, and seized from Howard's apartment a butcher knife, a kitchen knife, 21 rounds of ammunition, a pipe and four cell phones. They arrested him Sept. 3, charging him with burglary, attempted robbery and abduction of a juvenile.
The robbery charge was later dropped, and Howard pleaded guilty to the other two offenses. He returned last Friday, July 2, to Circuit Court to receive his punishment. Judge Michael McWeeny sentenced him to five years in prison, with all but six months suspended, on each charge; he then ran the sentences concurrently. He also placed Howard on four years active probation and ordered him to complete substance-abuse treatment.