KCIRT turns over Howell case investigation to prosecutor

Murder suspect died a week after jail incident

Kitsap County Jail. (File photo)

Kitsap County Jail. (File photo)

PORT ORCHARD — The investigation into the death of Sean Michael Howell, who died after being detained inside a cell at the Kitsap County Jail May 8, has been completed by the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team (KCIRT) and the case turned over to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

The multi-agency team turned over the case for review to the county prosecutor on Nov. 6. There, a review and any charging decisions will be made to determine whether any aspect of the case warrants further investigation, according to Chief John R. Batiste of the Washington State Patrol, the lead investigating agency for KCIRT.

Howell, 28, was arrested by the Bremerton Police Department on May 8 and booked into Kitsap County Jail for first-degree murder. The following day at around 10:30 a.m., corrections officers responded to an incident involving Howell, who was housed in a crisis cell and found to be tampering with the cell’s sprinkler system.

According to the WSP report, corrections officers entered Howell’s cell and attempted to restrain him, with the intention of moving him to a different cell. Howell began to violently resist, resulting in him and one of the corrections officers being injured and transported to the hospital. The corrections officer was treated and released, but Howell died from his injuries the morning of May 15.

No additional details were released by WSP prior to the agency’s report transfer to the prosecutor’s office.

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