Dead man found in yard, accused murderer in bathroom

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Investigators are still trying to figure out the why. Why one man would shoot and kill another outside his home.

Mark Howsare, 62, of 636 Belle Plains Rd. in Stafford County, is in jail charged with one count of First Degree Murder, according to Stafford Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy.

Howsare is accused of killing 35-year-old William Conner. Investigators were called to Howsare’s home about 10:15 Sunday night for a shooting.

“When deputies arrived they came in contact with a friend of the victim who told responding deputies that Mr. Conner had been shot on the front porch and that the man who had shot Mr. Conner was possibly still in the residence,” Kennedy wrote in an email. “The friend told deputies that [Conner] staggered off of the porch. [Conner] was located, dead, in the yard of the residence. A perimeter was set up in an attempt to located Mark Howsare as the friend of the victim was not sure if Howsare had left the residence.”

After a three-hour long standoff, Stafford SWAT Team entered the home and found Howsare in his bathroom. He was holding a gun, Kennedy wrote.

“The initial investigation indicates [Conner], who frequently visited the residence, had gone to a local store to return an air mattress for Mr. Howsare but was unable to do so,” Kennedy wrote. “When the victim returned to the residence he was locked out of the house. An argument then ensued with Mr. Howsare who was still inside. During that argument Mr. Howsare opened the door and shot a hand gun with several of the shots hitting the victim. The reasons for the argument are unclear at this time.”

The investigation into the shooting in considered on going, according to the sheriff’s office.