The Latest: Bail is $2M for man charged in weapons case


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on an Indiana man charged in California with possessing an assault weapon and explosives before a gay pride event. (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Bail has been set at $2 million for an Indiana man charged in California with possessing an assault weapon and explosives before a major gay pride parade.

The amount was set as defendant James Wesley Howell made his first appearance Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

An attorney representing Howell entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.

In setting the high bail, Judge Keith Schwartz found that Howell poses a significant public safety danger, citing Howell’s violation of probation on a misdemeanor intimidation conviction in Indiana.

Under the probation, Howell was not supposed to leave Indiana or have any weapons.

Police say the 20-year-old Howell was arrested Sunday in Santa Monica with the weapons and explosive materials in a car he apparently drove from Indiana.

Howell told police he was headed to a gay pride event in West Hollywood that attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

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12:45 p.m.

An Indiana man charged in California with possessing an assault weapon and explosives before a major gay pride parade is also the subject of a sexual assault investigation.

The Clark County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that 20-year-old James Wesley Howell of Jeffersonville is a suspect in the alleged May 31 assault.

A department spokesman declined to release further details.

The incident occurred less than two weeks before Howell was arrested Sunday in Santa Monica, California, when police said they found three assault rifles and explosive chemicals in a car apparently driven from Indiana.

Indianapolis FBI spokeswoman Wendy Osborne says agents searched Howell’s home Monday night.

A message seeking comment was left for Howell family attorney Bobby Boyd.

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12:05 p.m.

An Indiana man has been charged with felony weapons violations after California authorities say he was found with three assault rifles and explosive chemicals in his car ahead of a major gay pride parade.

James Wesley Howell was charged Tuesday in Los Angeles County with possessing an assault weapon, a high-capacity magazine and explosives on a public highway.

He also was charged with a misdemeanor count of possessing a loaded weapon in a vehicle.

Prosecutors are asking that he be held on $2 million bail. It was unclear if Howell has an attorney.

Police say the 20-year-old Howell was arrested Sunday in Santa Monica with the weapons and explosive materials in a car he apparently drove from Indiana.

Howell told police he was headed to a gay pride event in West Hollywood that attracts hundreds of thousands of people.