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Threatening emails, Facebook postings over failed romance lead to arrest

Published On: Feb 15 2013 12:02:14 PM CST
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A Lehigh County man having trouble dealing with a romantic breakup was arrested for using email, text messages and postings on social media to make threats to kill his ex-girlfriend and then himself, officials said.

David A. Howell Jr. sent the 37-year-old Bethlehem woman the messages and made the postings from Feb. 4 to Feb. 11, officials said, adding that Howell and the woman had dated for four years before calling it quits last August.

When Howell contacted the woman on Feb. 4, he texted her that he was going to send pictures to her job, and later that day, he sent an email that got the woman fired, officials said.

The following day, Howell texted the woman that he wanted to be with her again, and on Feb. 6, he posted a link on his Facebook page to a documentary called "Top 50 Serial Killer Moments With Real Footage and Information," officials said. Also on Feb. 6, police also phoned Howell to tell him to stop making harassing phone calls to the woman, officials added.

On Feb. 7, after the woman obtained a Protection From Abuse Order, and again on Feb. 11 and 13, Howell made several unsettling posts to his Facebook accounts, including "I should get no joy by causing you misery"; "I will come in the night when you least expect me to exact my revenge"; "Kill me, or kill her then me," and "Strike you at your core and hurt the youngest part of you," officials said.

The woman told police that she interpreted the last post as a threat to hurt her two young children, officials said.

Howell, 44, of 240 North Front St., Allentown, was arraigned Thursday on charges of making terroristic threats and harassment and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $10,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Feb. 27.