Missouri man convicted in mother’s strangulation death

NEW MADRID, Mo. – A Missouri man has been convicted of killing his mother and then setting fire to a vehicle with her body and two pet dogs inside.

The Southeast Missourian reports that jurors found 29-year-old Neil Howland Jr. guilty Friday of first-degree murder and five other counts in Cynthia Canoy’s 2013 death at her Scott City home.

His attorney argued Howland confessed to protect his girlfriend after officers hinted she might be charged. The couple had a baby, and the defense said the girlfriend argued with Canoy after she threatened to take custody of the child. The defense said Howland heard a thud, found Canoy’s body at the bottom of a flight of stairs and then helped cover up the death.

The girlfriend testified that Howland strangled Canoy with a dog leash.
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Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com