DELTA – A Delta man is being held without bond at the Delta County jail on pending charges of attempted second-degree murder after he allegedly lied to police about his girlfriend’s gunshot wound.
According to his arrest affidavit, Thomas W. Howe Jr., 44, told police that his girlfriend, Dina Navarette, 49, had “put the gun on the top of her head and shot herself” while he was yelling at her for cooking a turkey on Christmas Eve.
It didn’t take long for his story to unravel.
A few days after undergoing surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Navarette had trouble speaking but could write and shake her head ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Her psychiatrist at the hospital contacted the Delta Sheriff’s office and said Navarette had written down Howe’s name as the shooter and indicated that it was not an accident. Navarette’s surgeon also stated that the direction of the bullet, which entered her forehead near the hairline, was not consistent with most suicide attempts.
Howe, a Delta resident, was arrested on Dec. 30 and is also facing charges of first-degree assault, felony menacing, reckless endangerment, and domestic violence.
The shooting took place at the home of Howe’s parents on Redlands Mesa Road near Hotchkiss, which Howe Jr. said he and Navarette were house sitting. Both Howe and Navarette were tested for alcohol. Howe said they both had been “getting drunk” before the shooting. He claimed the gun belonged to his father.
According to the Delta Sheriff’s office, Howe’s criminal history includes resisting arrest, trespassing, disturbing the peace, fraud, crimes against person, felony possession of dangerous drugs, DUI, driving under revocation, parole violations, assault, and domestic violence.