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Dalton man charged with murder in machete attack on his mother

James Francis Howard

A Dalton man who allegedly attacked his mother with a machete in April has now also been charged with first-degree murder.

Prosecutors allege 46-year-old James Francis Howard killed his mother, 68-year-old Barbara Howard, by striking her several times with a machete. She died two weeks later.

The Daily Journal of Fergus Falls reports that Otter Tail County Attorney David Hauser filed amended charges on Monday after reviewing the autopsy report on Howard's death.

A grand jury must confirm the charge for it to proceed.

Hauser says he will present the case to grand jurors sometime after a mental competency hearing for James Howard, which has been ordered but not yet scheduled.