Howard’s friend Glenda Thomason, of Traverse City, called him a caring, loving friend.
“I’m devastated and angry and upset,” Thomason said. “He would give you the shirt off his back.”
Howard also had a young son, Thomason said.
Prior to his death Howard worked for several months at the Three Tradesmen, a Traverse City-based remodeling company.
“He was a great friend and a great worker,” said Three Tradesmen owner Rich Patt. “He was just an awesome guy; I’m going to miss him.”
Patt said Howard and Mitchell were in a romantic relationship.
“He’d kind of rekindled things with her,” Patt said. “(Mitchell) would drop him off to work in the morning.”
Local court records show Howard had several run-ins with the law for incidents that ranged from driving offenses to assault and theft to an October 2012 domestic violence conviction.