Man sentenced to life without parole for 2007 rape - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah man gets life without parole for rape

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Jerry Lewis Howard (Source: Chatham Co. District Attorney's Office) Jerry Lewis Howard (Source: Chatham Co. District Attorney's Office)

A Savannah man was sentenced on Thursday for a rape that occurred in 2007. 

A jury on Thursday found Jerry Lewis Howard, 50, guilty of rape, aggravated assault and third-degree cruelty to a child for his involvement for an assault of is former live-in girlfriend. Howard was also convicted and found guilty of these crimes in a prior 2010 case, but was granted a retrial by Chatham County Superior Court Judge John Morse, according to the Chatham County District Attorney's Office. 

On Nov. 29, 2007, at Howard's former girlfriend returned to his home on East Waldburg Street to get some of her things she left there when they broke up a month earlier. 

The two had a disagreement. Howard then strangled the 28-year-old woman until she was almost unconscious and raped her in front of her 1-year-old daughter. The woman was able to escape by convincing Howard to let her call a cab to retrieve her car. 

Howard was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He had five prior felony convictions for robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and had been tried as a recidivist so he was ineligible for parole, according to the district attorney's office.

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