Outlaw Country Singer Randy Howard Dies in Shootout With Bounty Hunter
Outlaw country singer Randy Howard was killed in a shootout with a bounty hunter at his Tennessee home on Tuesday night (June 9).
According to Nashville's WSMV, the 65-year-old musician was facing charges of fourth offense DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a gun while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license in Marion Country, Tenn. at the time of his death. He had failed to appear at a recent hearing, which resulted in a bench warrant. When a bounty hunter working for A-Plus Bail Bonding out of Dunlap, Tenn. showed up at Howard's home in Lynchburg Tuesday night, the singer opened fire, according to investigators. The bounty hunter returned fire, killing the singer at the scene. The bounty hunter, who has not been named, was also hit, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Howard was part of the vanguard of the Outlaw Country movement that spawned Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck and more. His released his debut album, Now and Then, in 1976, and would go on to record All American Redneck for Warner Bros. in 1983, and a self-titled album for Atlantic in 1988, as well as other recording projects for smaller labels. His profanely humorous song "All American Redneck" was an underground hit that became the song most associated with Howard, who shared the stage with Nelson, Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr. and more during his long career.
The singer's death has raised new questions about the rights of bounty hunters. While many states require bondsmen to be licensed, Tennessee doesn't. In this instance the bounty hunter had a warrant, and he claims to have fired in self-defense, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tells WSMV that Howard was in his own home, where he had the legal right to defend himself. The TBI is now investigating his death.
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