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Elderly woman reacts to arrest of suspect

12:33 AM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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Molena Nichole Dowell

The Hawkins County Sheriff's Office has arrested the woman they believe robbed an 86-year-old woman who fought back.

On Friday, Louise Howard of Bulls Gap called police when she spotted a suspicious car in front of her house, then heard someone breaking in.  The female intruder told her she wouldn't hurt her, that she just wanted her money.

Howard grabbed a gun and fired a shot during a struggle.  The bullet went into the wall.  The thief took the gun and Howard's purse. It contained all of her keys, some cash and credit cards, and her wedding ring from her late husband.

"I'm not the type to scare," Howard said, "But I have always said, if somebody broke into my home, I'm going to get them."

The next day, investigators say Molena Nichole Dowell, 36, of Morristown, sold a ring belonging to Howard to a pawn shop in Morristown.  That led officers to Dowell, who admitted to the crime.

Dowell was charged with Aggravated robbery, Burglary and Theft of Property over $500.  She was grazed in the arm by that bullet that Howard fired during the struggle.

Howard says she's happy to learn she'll get her ring back, but hopes it's not the only item returned.

"I want my gun back!" she emphasized. She hopes others will learn from her story.

"I hope they all get a gun and keep it in bed under the pillow, like I do."

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