Cheatham Co. man wanted for attempted murder after gun put to girlfriend’s head

Steven Howell (Courtesy: Cheatham County Sheriff's Office)

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – An ex-con who reportedly put a gun to his girlfriend’s head and pulled the trigger is now wanted by authorities in Cheatham County for attempted murder.

Thankfully, the gun didn’t discharge, but the victim, as you might imagine, was terrorized.

Detectives told News 2 Steven Howell is no stranger to crime. His TBI arrest report is 18 pages long and includes multiple serious felonies that landed him in prison.

“He has remarked he won’t go down without a fight,” Det. Ken Miller said.

On Monday night, investigators say the 57-year-old man allegedly beat his girlfriend in a Cheatham County home.

“At one point he even strangled her,” Miller said.

Courtesy: Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office)

As the fight escalated, detectives said Howell reportedly pulled out a .22 caliber.

“He put it to her head and told her if he couldn’t have her, no other man would and pulled the trigger,” Miller said. “The gun misfired for reasons unknown and they started another physical altercation where he punched her, choked her and hitting her. After several hours of this, he wouldn’t let her call or leave the bedroom and it escalated again. He called her a liar and said the gun wasn’t even loaded. He pointed the gun to his head and then to the ceiling and pulled the trigger and this time it discharged and shot a hole in the ceiling.”

Eventually the woman was able to call for help.

“He beat me and beat me and beat me,” she told News 2. “I finally got him out of the house and I need to make a police report. I think I’m ok. I think right now I am just scared.”

By the time deputies arrive to the home, Howell is gone, but they were able to talk to him by phone.

“He called in and deputy speaks with him and he said the next time he sees our victim, she’ll be in a casket,” Miller said. “He is a loose cannon. He is out there. A very scary individual to deal with.”

Howell is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees him should call 911.

According to the Department of Correction, Howell was released from Southcentral Correctional Facility in May of 2013 after his sentence expired.

He has not been under TDOC supervision of any kind since that time.