State Will No Longer Seek Death Penalty In Naomi Jones Murder

March 11, 2020

The state is no longer seeking the death penalty in the case Robert Howard, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering 12-year old Naomi Jones in 2017.

State Attorney Bill Eddins said Wednesday afternoon “that additional witness information and evidence has developed in the Robert Letroy Howard case. As a result of those developments and evidence, it is no longer appropriate to seek the death penalty in this case. The mother of the victim was consulted and is in agreement with this decision.”

Eddins did not provide further information because the case is still pending. Jury selection in the case begins Monday in Escambia County.

Prosecutors say Howard kidnapped, murdered and dumped the body of 12-year old Naomi Jones.

Authorities say Howard was living with his girlfriend in the same apartment complex in which Jones lived in the 1400 block of East Johnson Avenue. He lived in a nearly adjacent apartment to Jones. She was last seen May 31 in that apartment complex.

Jones likely died within 24 to 36 hours after her May 31 disappearance, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. Her body was then later dumped into Eight Mile Creek, some 4-5 miles away, where it was found days later by two men looking for a fishing location.

According to court documents, Howard admitted to being at the apartment complex the day Jones went missing and having contact with her at his apartment. He became extremely angry and committed “a violent act” against  Jones causing her death. He then placed her body in the backseat of his Nissan Altima and traveled to multiple locations, including Brewton, AL, before returning to Pensacola and throwing Jones’ body into the creek.

Howard is convicted sex offender. He was convicted in 1999 on two counts of first degree rape to  two adult females in Escambia County, AL. One of the victims was  19-years old at the time. He served 15 years.


18 Responses to “State Will No Longer Seek Death Penalty In Naomi Jones Murder”

  1. Norm on March 12th, 2020 9:51 pm

    The State must present all evidence to satisfy Robert Howard is guilty. If the State is still investigating the crime, other then Howard’s statement, why is the State holding him? (I am not seeking nor suggesting release). What happened to a “Speedy Trial?”

  2. Tracy McAdams on March 12th, 2020 6:27 pm

    I thought the trial hasn’t happened yet?? So much for innocent until proven guilty in a court of law…guess it’s now guilty according to public view

  3. Bill on March 12th, 2020 4:56 pm

    Our justice system is really failing us. This criminal should be put to death ASAP.

  4. Just Saying on March 12th, 2020 3:46 pm


    Why is Alabama responsible for tracking him? By law, a sex offender can move anywhere they wish within certain parameters, such as a certain distance from a school, daycare, etc, provided that they follow the laws for sex offender registration. At that point, it’s up to the law enforcement wherever he moved, thus placing that duty on ECSO. That said, they can’t follow every sex offender 24/7 to make sure they don’t commit further crimes. The purpose of the registry is only to keep up with where they live and provide a listing of all sex offenders by location of their address.

  5. Anthony L S on March 12th, 2020 12:52 pm

    We should all try to be better Christians, but this is just wrong and heart breaking. So sorry for the lose of that child and her family. All we can is pray.

  6. LOL on March 12th, 2020 9:14 am

    Why would anyone care about what they’re saying for “his families sake”… if he ever ever ever laid hands on my daughter i wouldnt care what ANYONE felt like, including his family. Sounds like yall needed to get him help if hes out raping and murdering. I wouldnt even claim him as family after that.

  7. ekg on March 12th, 2020 8:56 am

    Anyone who kills a child should have the death penalty.

  8. Molino Lady on March 12th, 2020 8:51 am

    Why don’t you think of the Namoni’s family and what they are going through. They should lock this guy up and throw away the key. I hope he gets what he deserves when the other inmates find out what he did to the young girl.

  9. Robinhood on March 12th, 2020 6:56 am

    @ Unknown: Don’t even go there or YOU are just plain ignorant

    The BIBLE teaches “Eye for an Eye” He should be given what he gave that little precious girl and that is DEATH

    The THUG did not even care about his family OR he would not have committed any of those crimes he has done in the past. HE does not even care how his family feels or what they will go through for HIS ACTIONS. Brings reproach on the family when we all do wrong. He should have thought about that in the beginning.

  10. Common Sense on March 12th, 2020 12:18 am

    Genesis 9:6. That’s all I have to say about that.

  11. Common Sense on March 12th, 2020 12:13 am


    The compassion and forgiveness that the Bible speaks of is far different than your interpretation of it. This man has done deplorable things to innocent women, one of which was a child. If you were as astute of the Bible as you pose to be, you might recollect what the punishment was in the time of Christ for similar crimes against innocent citizens. It was a brutal death sentence.

  12. Unknown on March 11th, 2020 10:44 pm

    Its amazing how people are so quick to pass judgment when you don’t know all the fact yes if he did the crime he should do the time. You are so quick to jump on and post your negative comments but this man had innocent family members that is going through enough with out all the negativity. Put yourself in his family place how would you feel if this was your love you. Yes it hit different if the shoe was on the other foot. Be careful what you post you dont know tbe state of mind someone else is in.( He who have not sin cast the first stone)

  13. Lou on March 11th, 2020 8:10 pm

    This is a terrible injustice to Naomi and the citizens of our county. Alabama should be held accountable for not keeping track of this offender. I wonder how much our county spent on processing the crime scene and this case. I think Naomi and we got short changed.

  14. RC on March 11th, 2020 6:49 pm

    I hope is life sentence is about 30 days when the other inmates find out about him.

  15. Lee on March 11th, 2020 5:57 pm

    Sounds like they must have a weak case…cuz other than that…i cant fathom this.

  16. Tc on March 11th, 2020 5:48 pm

    1st degree Rape x 2 should have kept this thug in prison the rest of his life ! Another innocent life lost from the result of an incompetent Judicial System. Such a shame

  17. Don on March 11th, 2020 5:20 pm

    Convicted sex offender, committed rape in previous conviction, murdered, raped and dumped this little girls body. Explain why he doesn’t deserve the death penalty.
    If anyone deserves to die it is him.

  18. mike on March 11th, 2020 4:50 pm

    yeah, might as well do away with the ‘ol death penalty, it’s not being used here in Florida. men that do heinous things to women and children get put in a cell to live out their days.
    the privatization of prisons should be sped up, corrections being such a burgeoning field. hell, with our military bases being used to keep up the sale of fighter jets and other military hardware to foreign countries to keep the military-industrial complex palms greased, might as well. the more murderers and rapists that are housed the more money is made.
    just so there are no unions involved with the corrections employees, as only one in 14 workers is union now, compared to 1 in 3 in the 1950s. we don’t wanna mess with those numbers, the corporate powers that be might get upset. follow the money, indeed.

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