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Man found with woman's body in pickup sentenced

Bernard Howell of Tenino will spend 26 years in prison for the murder of Vanda Boone.
Bernard Howell is sentenced in Thurston County Superior Court for the murder of Vanda Boone, Thursday, April 7, 2011.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- ATenino man caught with the body of a woman in his pickup last summer will spend 26 years in prison.

Bernard Howell, 26, pleaded guilty last month to the August 2010 murder of Vanda Boone. Boone, 60, was walking on a trail outside of Tenino on August 8 when police say Howell killed her and then had sex with her.

Detectives said Howell did not know Boone.

Howell's defense attorney said his client was suffering from psychosis at the time of the murder. He was also was addicted to methamphetamine, according to investigators.

In court Thursday, Howell said he was sorry. He said he has been threatened by jail inmates for his actions and asked the judge to be placed in protective custody.

I hope I'll survive this prison, said Howell.

The judge said the protective custody request must be made through the Department of Corrections.

Please keep us safe from his harm, said Lori Drayson, a friend of Boone's, as she asked the judge for the maximum sentence.

She described Boone as a loving, peaceful woman who worked in Olympia as a massage therapist.

How does one feel safe when you have such a creature like Bernard Howell lurking out there, said Drayson.

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