A 20-year-old who killed her father, installed a stripper pole in the kitchen and had "drug-fueled" parties has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Crystal Brooke Howell, 20, of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, was 17 when she blasted her father Michael Howell, 50, in the head with a shotgun while he slept on February 24, 2014.
A court heard Howell had contemplated her father's murder while in the shower after he caught her shoplifting earlier in the day, reports WYFF4.
She hid his body for a month in a plastic container in a storage shed on the grounds of the family home.
Assistant district attorney Jeff Jones said,
Miss Howell had previously told her friends that her father had killed himself. She then started to drive his car and spend his money. She had her friends move in, had a drug-fueled party and even had a stripper pole installed in the kitchen.
The gruesome discovery was only made when guests staying in the eight-bedroom house moved a pinball machine into the room where Howell was storing her father's body.
She fled the home and turned up at her mom's house with all her things, driving her father's orange Land Rover on March 22.
Howell pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and concealing a death at Haywood County Court on Monday.
District attorney Ashley Welch said,
It's shocking that a young woman kills her father. But the fact that Howell then began to spend her father's money, use his house and drive his car – all after hiding his body and the evidence of her crime – that's the motive. She wanted to live on her terms at the expense of Michael Howell's life. It's very sad.
Howell was handed a minimum of 25 years for the murder charge and up to 84 months for concealing a death and failing to report a death.
She is believed to have a history of mental illness.