Man accused of going to an LGBT festival armed with an assault rifle, bomb-making chemical pleads not guilty
James Wesley Howell pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of an assault weapon and a destructive device on a public street. Howell is the man police say was on his way to a West Hollywood LGBT festival with guns and a bomb-making chemical in his car. Howell is now being held on a $2 million bond. The judge set that bond at a court hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Howell is from Indiana. The court is assigning him an attorney with the public defender’s office in Los Angeles County.Right now, Howell is only charged in state court but federal authorities are continuing to investigate him. That suggests he might face federal charges as well.
Police say they found an assault rifle, two 30-round magazines, two additional rifles, 20 pounds of an explosive known as Shoc-shot, chemicals already mixed, a black hood, a stun gun and handcuffs in Howell’s car.
Howell’s full of list of charges includes unlawful possession of an assault weapon and a destructive device on a public street, manufacturing or importing a large magazine and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.