Judge sentences Daniel French to life in prison without parole for murder of Barbara Howe

Published: Nov. 4, 2015 at 10:14 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 at 8:39 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Barbara Howe (File)
Barbara Howe (File)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - A Butler County judge sentenced Daniel French with life in prison without parole for the 2012 murder of 87-year-old Barbara Howe.

The jury recommended death, life in prison without the possibility of parole or life with a chance for parole at some point earlier this month.

The judge sentenced French Monday afternoon.

A jury found French, 56, guilty of aggravated murder in the Howe's death last month.

French, 56, worked at the Monroe retirement facility where Howe resided. He arrested and charged in December of last year with aggravated murder. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m. French could face the death penalty.

Officials found Howe's body on Nov. 1, 2012 inside the trunk of her car.

Documents state French, made three calls the night of Oct. 28, 2012 to residents at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Complex stating he needed to repair their medical emergency alert systems. French planned to then enter homes "for the commission of robbery," according to court documents.

Prosecutors produced a confession tape where French said he only intended to rob Howe, but when he realized he'd killed her, he panicked and stuffed her body in the trunk of her car, leaving it in a Middletown parking lot.

"I was trying to choke her out. I didn't mean to kill her. TV makes it look so G***** easy," French said to investigators.

Copyright 2015 WXIX. All rights reserved.