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Crime & Justice

Man, 21, charged with murder in February death of Reseda girlfriend 20 years his senior

Van Nuys Superior Court
Van Nuys Superior Court

A 21-year-old man was charged with murder today in connection with the February death of his 41-year-old girlfriend in Reseda, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office announced.

According to prosecutors, James Howard Jr. used a “sharp instrument” to kill Sharilit Matthews on Feb. 2. After that date Matthews’ friends and family were unable to reach her for about a week, and finally alerted police. Officers discovered the woman’s body in the bed of her Reseda apartment, according to wire reports.

Howard, who turns 22 tomorrow, was charged in Van Nuys Superior Court. His bail was set at more than $1 million.

Prosecutors say Howard already had a 2010 robbery conviction. If convicted he faces 26 years to life in prison.