From DA's Higgins's office: Murder charge dismissed after evidence found insufficient
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BRUNSWICK, Ga. (June 23, 2021) – The District Attorney’s Office for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit today announced the dismissal of felony murder charges against Michael Howard, 42, of Brunswick, in the death of a 17-year-old Brunswick resident due to insufficient evidence. Howard was initially charged with felony murder along with defendant Bria-Marie Nicole Register, 28, of Brunswick, who still faces felony murder charges in the April 17, 2021, death of victim Javier Cordova of Brunswick. Howard still faces felony charges of tampering with evidence for allegedly dismantling and hiding a handgun investigators allege Register used to shoot Cordova. “After a careful review of the evidence and case file, my office does not believe Mr. Howard caused anyone to murder Mr. Cordova,” said District Attorney Keith Higgins. “Nor do we believe he encouraged anyone or abetted anyone other than tampering with evidence, with which he is still charged. “I, and the prosecutors in my office, are committed to justice for Mr. Cordova and his family, and we will continue to prosecute this case to the fullest extent the law allows,” Higgins added.
Investigators allege Register shot and killed Cordova in the early morning hours of April 17 outside an apartment complex in the 3100 block of Cypress Mill Road in Brunswick during an altercation. The firearm allegedly used belonged to Howard, although there is no evidence he willingly provided his firearm to anyone for the purpose of shooting Mr. Cordova, according to Deputy Assistant District Attorney Nigel Lush, who is prosecuting the cases against Howard and Register.