Court appearance, 11/06

James Howard makes his first appearance in Lancaster County Court, via video feed to the Hall of Justice, on Tuesday in a case alleging his involvement in the Oct. 18 death of Stacy Talbot in Lincoln.

The first of three people charged in connection with the death of a Lincoln man last month is back from Texas and was in court Tuesday.

James R. Howard, 27, is accused of being an accessory to Stacy Talbot's Oct. 18 killing. Talbot was shoved out of a moving car along North 14th Street after he'd been shot.

Police say in court records Talbot had been shot twice and dumped in the street. He died at a Lincoln hospital that night.

Law enforcement arrested Howard in Texas early Oct. 26, and Jesse James "JJ" Wilson and Sherry Lynn Thomas the next night in Clovis, New Mexico, in the car from which police believe Talbot had been pushed.

Howard was the first of the three suspects returned to Lincoln.

Tuesday, he made his first court appearance by video from the jail.

Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Amy Goodro said it cost $4,300 for deputies to bring him back and asked County Judge Rodney Reuter to set his bond at $100,000.

"Defendant fled from Nebraska along with co-defendants to avoid law enforcement," she said.

Goodro said law enforcement believes that, after the shooting, the three had a plan to go to Florida, Louisiana or possibly Mexico.

Howard promised not to leave the city or his house if he was allowed out on bond. He told the judge he has "severe mental problems" and needs to be with his family.

Deputy Lancaster County Public Defender Webb Bancroft argued for a $30,000 bond, saying Howard has lived in Lincoln for eight years and went to college here for two years.

But Reuter set bond at $100,000.

In an affidavit for Howard's arrest, police say Talbot had texted a woman just five minutes before 911 calls sent police to North 14th Street. Investigators say he had asked for help, saying the people he was with wouldn't let him out of the car.

Police say Howard had bought a .38 caliber Taurus handgun at a Lincoln pawn shop the day before Talbot was killed.

Wilson, 32, and Thomas, 34, remained in jail Tuesday in Curry County, New Mexico.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.



Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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