5 shell casings, 1 bullet found in accused murderer’s car, say court papers

Michael Snow
Michael Snow(WWNY)
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 3:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CANTON, New York (WWNY) - New details have come to light in the case of Michael Snow, the Massena man accused of murdering a SUNY Potsdam student in February 2022.

Court documents filed this month in St. Lawrence County Court reveal that police recovered five .22 caliber shell casings from Snow’s car in the days after the shooting.

On February 18, 2022, Snow allegedly gunned down 21-year-old Elizabeth Howell of Patterson, New York.

Police were called to College Park Road in Potsdam that evening and said they found Howell lying on the side of the road with gunshot wounds. Howell was rushed to Canton-Potsdam Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

At the time, police said witnesses told them they heard three gunshots fired from a gray sedan.

Snow was arrested the next day and charged with Howell’s murder.

According to court documents, investigators conducted two searches of Snow’s gray Honda Civic.

During the first search on February 19, police said they found three .22 caliber shell casings and one .22 caliber bullet.

According to police documents included with the court filing, the casings were located on the rear passenger seat and on the rear driver-side floor.

The bullet was found on the front passenger floor.

During the second search on February 22, police documents show two .22 caliber casings were located on the front passenger floor.

In the court documents, Snow’s attorney St. Lawrence County Public Defender James McGahan questions the testimony given by a police investigator before a grand jury.

McGahan points out that “no information was presented regarding the contents of the second search.”

In the document, McGahan asks the court to review the grand jury proceedings in the Snow case by asking: “Was a material statement withheld to the extent the grand jury was misled?”

The grand jury indicted Snow in March 2023 on counts of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and first-degree criminal use of a firearm.

The documents include pages of evidence collected by police at the crime scene, from Snow’s car, from Snow’s apartment, and from Snow himself.

Among the items found in Snow’s car were a rosary and an eight-pack of beer with seven full cans.

Police listed items from Snow’s apartment including six .22 caliber rounds, a 12-gauge shotgun and 14 shells, and a bag “containing a quantity of shotgun shells and .22 caliber ammo.”

At last report, it’s unclear if the murder weapon was ever found.

The evidence collected from Howell’s body includes a “projectile removed from right shoulder.”