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Fergus Falls man sentenced in mom’s machete death

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – A Minnesota man has been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison for a machete attack that killed his 68-year-old mother.

James Howard of Dalton told the court that “God is forgiving me” before sentencing Monday.

Judge Mark Hanson told Howard: “Your mother had a right to believe her son would protect her – and you violated that.”

In June, Howard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Otter Tail County.

KBRF-AM reports Howard must serve at least 23 years in prison. He also was ordered to pay restitution of $45,500.

Howard was charged with attacking his mother, Barbara Howard, with a machete in April 2011. She died two weeks later.

James Howard told paramedics he intended to kill his mother to end her suffering from cancer and diabetes.

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