Love Affair Takes Center Stage in Carrollton Murder-for-Hire Trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The first week of testimony has ended in the murder-for-hire trial against John Franklin Howard in Denton.

    Day four of John “Frank” Howard’s attempted capital murder trial began with more testimony from the victim; Howard’s ex-wife, Nancy.

    After an emotional testimony Thursday detailing the night she was shot in the eye, she detailed her rehabilitation Friday morning as she underwent four surgeries to rebuild her face and replace her lost eye.

    The bulk of Nancy’s testimony focused on her ex-husband’s affair though.

    She told the jury that it wasn’t until after she was shot that she received a call from Frank while in Parkland Hospital admitting to having an affair.

    Victim Testifies in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot

    [DFW] Victim Testifies in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot
    The victim of an alleged murder-for-hire attempt took the stand Thursday in the trial against her husband. Nancy Howard's husband, John Franklin Howard, is accused of hiring a hitman to kill her.

    Though she said she’d suspected Frank had been unfaithful, she stared directly at her now ex-husband in the courtroom as she said he admitted to being with his mistress for three years.

    On cross examination, the defense asked Nancy about Howard’s generosity towards their church to which Nancy said they donated thousands of dollars. She also stated that he’d bought cars for people in need, including her mother.

    She also testified that he’d never, to her knowledge, been convicted of a crime.

    The prosecution also called Howard’s alleged mistress Suzanne Leontieff, who told the jury that she’d fallen in love with Frank and had been living, part-time, with him in a condo in California.

    Leontieff said she had started seeing Frank in 2009 and by the time of the shooting in 2012 had been “fed up” with him promising a divorce from Nancy but never delivering.

    On cross examination, Leontieff detailed the night of the shooting when she and Howard were at a casino and got the news.

    She said he was very upset by it and even broke down crying as they rushed to get him a flight home.

    Defense Attorney Ricky Perritt expressed concern during testimony Friday with the amount of time being spent on the affair. He said no one was questioning that Howard was having an affair and at one point said, “he’s not on trial for adultery.”

    Before court went into recess for the weekend, the prosecution called Billy Johnson to the stand.

    Johnson is the man prosecutors believe Howard began paying in attempts to have his wife killed.

    Johnson will once again take the stand Monday morning as week two of the expected three-week trial begins.

    If convicted, John “Frank” Howard could face life in prison.