Killer of British honeymoon couple in Antigua dies in jail escape attempt


An escaped murderer who had been jailed for life for killing a British couple on their Caribbean honeymoon has died after being shot by police.

Acting on a tip-off, Antiguan police officers tracked Avie Howell, 24, to a rural parish just south of the capital of St John's where a "confrontation" broke out this morning, Corporal Frankie Thomas of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.

Howell was shot and died in hospital about three hours later at midday local time (17.00BST). The shooting took place in the parish of St Mary.

Howell had been on the run since yesterday after he and his cellmate, who was on fraud charges, had cut through a wire fence and scale a 30ft wall.

He and accomplice Kaniel Martin, 27, were convicted in 2011 and sentenced to life for the murders of Welsh couple Ben and Catherine Mullany.


They had burst into Mr and Mrs Mullany's chalet at the Cocos Hotel in a dawn raid in July 2008.

The newlyweds, who lived in Rhos, near Pontardawe, were both shot in the head while their killers made off with their mobile phones, a cheap digital camera and a handful of cash.

Corporal Thomas said: "This morning, the police acting on a tip-off on information they had received regarding his his whereabouts went to that area where a confrontation took place between him and the police which resulted in him being shot.

"He was rushed to hospital and roughly at about midday, he was pronounced dead."

The couple, who were both 31, had only been married a little over a fortnight when they were shot.

Mrs Mullany, a hospital doctor, died instantly, while her trainee physiotherapist husband, was flown home to Swansea in a coma. Despite the best efforts of his wife's medical colleagues he died a week after the shooting.

It meant that just five weeks after happily celebrating their wedding at St John The Evangelist Church in Cilybebyll, their grief-stricken parents were attending the couple's funeral.

Then three years to the day after the deaths, Howell and Martin were found guilty of murdering the honeymoon couple as well as shooting 43-year-old local shopkeeper Woneta Anderson.

The pair had yet to stand trial for the 2008 alleged murders of Rafique Harris and Tony Louisa. Those two killings happened just a few weeks after Mr and Mrs Mullany were shot.

In the wake of the murders, the couple's family set up the Mullany Fund - which saw Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Antiguan cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards become patrons.

The charity aims to carry on the good work started by the couple by giving grants to medical students.

Corporal Thomas said the police would not be giving details about where Howell was shot.

The second man - Kenroy Marshall - remains at large.

Corporal Thomas said: "We have a team of personnel who are searching for him.

"Marshall is still very much on the run and we are appealing through the media and to the public that he should turn himself in.

"He has many options to turn himself in. He can go to any police station. For the interest of his own safety we would rather he did so through a relative or through a lawyer. We can make the arrangements for him to return safely."

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