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Arizona police: Man killed grandmother with shovel, knife over strict curfew, pricey rent

This undated photo released by the Goodyear, Ariz., Police Department shows Helen Jean Lee. Lee, 78, has been missing from her Goodyear home since Oct. 30. Arizona authorities who have been investigating her disappearance said Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, they have found an unidentified body in the desert near Gila Bend. This is the same general area where the missing woman's grandson had led detectives to find additional evidence, police said. It could be Monday before medical investigators identify the body, but police say Lee's grandson, 40-year-old Jason Eric Howell, is the prime suspect in the woman's disappearance. (AP Photo/Goodyear Police Department)

This undated photo released by the Goodyear, Ariz., Police Department shows Helen Jean Lee. Lee, 78, has been missing from her Goodyear home since Oct. 30. Arizona authorities who have been investigating her disappearance said Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, they have found an unidentified body in the desert near Gila Bend. This is the same general area where the missing woman's grandson had led detectives to find additional evidence, police said. It could be Monday before medical investigators identify the body, but police say Lee's grandson, 40-year-old Jason Eric Howell, is the prime suspect in the woman's disappearance. (AP Photo/Goodyear Police Department)  (The Associated Press)

Arizona police say a man charged with killing his grandmother beat the woman with a shovel before slitting her throat because he was upset with her strict curfew rules and how much she charged him for rent.

Jason Eric Howell is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, hindering prosecution and abandoning a body. The 40-year-old does not yet have an attorney. He was being held Wednesday in the jail's psychiatric unit and was unavailable for comment.

Howell is set for a court appearance next week.

Police say he led investigators to the desert about 75 miles southwest of Phoenix where 78-year-old Helen Jean Lee's body was found Saturday.

They believe he killed her around Oct. 30, the same day he was arrested on multiple charges after authorities say he stole a car outside an elementary school.