A 49-year-old man is suspected of killing a woman Saturday evening during a domestic dispute in their bedroom in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood.
Howard Lackey, who has at least one violent felony on his record, faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of 50-year-old Keli J. Jurdy, who is identified in court records as one of his girlfriends. Lackey is being held in the Spokane County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.
According to court records, the shooting happened shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday in a duplex at 3126 E. Eighth Ave. where Lackey and Jurdy shared a bedroom “off and on.”
Another man who lives in the unit told police that Lackey was “almost always” armed with a .40-caliber handgun with a skull and crossbones on the grip. The roommate told police that Lackey and Jurdy were preparing to go somewhere but started arguing before they got out the door, according to court records.
At one point, Lackey closed the door and the couple continued arguing in their bedroom. The roommate said he heard a loud “pop” and Lackey almost immediately emerged from the bedroom, gun in hand, according to court records.
“I need your help,” Lackey said, according to the roommate. “I think I just shot her.”
The roommate told police that when he tried to walk into the room to check on Jurdy, Lackey closed the door and admitted she was dead. The roommate said Lackey told him: “She went for the gun and it went off.”
The roommate and his girlfriend, who was in the garage at the time of the shooting, then left the house in Lackey’s truck and called 911, according to court records.
Lackey also called 911 shortly after the shooting. According to court records, the call taker described him as “quite distressed” and “hysterical, sobbing, muttering.”
Another woman, Karen Nelson, who also identified herself as a girlfriend of Lackey’s, told police that Lackey showed up at her house near Bigelow Gulch and Argonne roads at about 8 p.m. Saturday and told her that he had just shot Jurdy. Nelson told police that Lackey was in her home for about 20 minutes and then they went driving around “looking for a police department.”
They were riding in a black Lexus that Lackey had borrowed from a neighbor in the East Central duplex just after the shooting, according to court records. At some point, while police were responding to the residence, an officer watched them bring the Lexus back before leaving again in another car, a Mazda, according to court records. The car was pulled over and Lackey was arrested.
Police found Jurdy’s body in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. She had a criminal record that included domestic violence convictions in 2002 and 2010.
Detectives later searched Nelson’s home and found a load of clothes in the washing machine, including an outfit that appeared to belong to Lackey, according to court records. On top of the machine was a pair of shoes with an “unknown red substance” on them, according to court records.
Lackey’s criminal record dates back to 1996, when he was convicted of aggravated assault in New Mexico. He also has three felony convictions for driving under the influence in Gallatin County, Montana, and in 2009 he was convicted of failing to register as a violent offender.
The U.S. Marshals Service in Billings issued a warrant for Lackey’s arrest early last year. It wasn’t immediately clear if he was still wanted on that warrant.