ORTING, Wash. – A 38-year-old Orting man died over the weekend while trying to protect his medical marijuana plants.
Michael Howard was hit in the head with a crow bar on March 9 by someone trying to break into a shed in his backyard where he was legally growing medical marijuana, according to his father Michael Atkins. He died four days later.
Atkins says Howard grabbed a can of pepper spray and ran out to the shed when he heard his dogs barking.
"The intruder had a large iron crow bar in his hand which he was using to break into the shed," said Atkins. "When Mike came around the corner of his house, the perpetrator was waiting for him. He hit our son square in the head. Mike survived for three days. His heart failed four different times. The fifth time, doctors weren't able to restart it."
Atkins says investigators have the crow bar and hope fingerprints will lead them to the killer. There is no description of a suspect.