The South Florida man who survived a raging inferno and shootout with police at a West Kendall grow house earlier this year that ended in two deaths won't face charges in the incident, his attorney said Monday.
Brian Howell, 29, had been charged with possession of a place to manufacture a controlled substance following the Feb. 19 incident at the home near Southwest 48th Terrace and Southwest 147th Place.
His attorney, Alexander Michaels said the state decided to drop the charges.
"Basically, you can see that we won the case. We didn't do anything other than claim we are innocent," said Michaels.
Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith confirmed the charges had been dropped but couldn't give any other details.
The incident began when Miami-Dade Police raided the home, suspecting it to be a marijuana grow house, and came under fire as they approached it, police said.
Officers fired back, a shootout ensued and the house went up in flames. Police later found the burned body of suspect Michael Steven DiGiovanni, 28, inside the home. Dell Peter DiGiovanni, 50, was later found dead of an apparent suicide.
Howell managed to get to a neighbor's house before he was found by police. Officers charged him after eight damaged marijuana plants were found in the house.
After he bonded out of jail, Howell told NBC 6 South Florida marijuana was being grown inside the house but he had nothing to do with it.
"I lived in the house but that was all my stepdad’s, that was all his thing, I didn’t have anything to do with it," Howell said at the time.
No officers were injured in the incident.
"Eventually they're going to have to come forward and open the file and come with a report and explain to the public why they burned the house, why two people are dead, why they took so much time on this case. A lot whys need to be answered," Michaels said.
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