Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Sodomy counts filed

Man was shot twice, recovering

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Larry Eugene Howell was charged with nine counts of sodomy Tuesday, just hours after the woman charged with shooting him in the groin was released on bail.

        Mr. Howell, 40, of Erlanger is charged with seven counts of sodomy in the second degree and two counts of sodomy in the third degree. Erlanger police said there are more than one victim. Police would not say if his alleged shooter is the mother of a victim.

        In Kentucky, a person can be charged with the more serious crime of sodomy in the second degree if the other person is younger than 14. Third-degree sodomy charges are applied in a case in which the victim is less than 16 or mentally retarded or incapacitated.

        The Enquirer is not naming the woman to protect her son. She was arrested, according to police, holding a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol just after the Thursday night shooting. The Covington mother of five works as a secretary at the Internal Revenue Service processing center in Covington.

        Mr. Howell's attorney, David Bender of Covington, didn't return phone calls Tuesday but has said his client is innocent and declined interview requests on his client's behalf.

        The third-degree charges can carry one to five years in prison on each count. The more serious second-degree charges are Class C felonies, which carry sentences of five to 10 years in prison on each count.

        Mr. Howell is not in custody.

        He remains in fair condition at University Hospital, where he is recuperating from two gunshots. One bullet, police say, passed through his groin and lodged in his leg. The other, which hit him in the abdomen, did serious damage to his bowels and spleen.

        Covington Police have assigned a detective to investigate the mother's allegations that he molested her son, said department spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Liles. That detective will work with Erlanger police, who are already investigating complaints involving up to 20 boys.

        Mr. Howell, a part-time carnival worker, has served 17 years in prison for burglary.

        The 40-year-old Covington woman accused of shooting Mr. Howell was at home Tuesday night but declined a request for an interview.

        Kenton District Judge Frank Trusty agreed Monday to raise her bond from $20,000 cash to $100,000, but allowed her to be released after posting $10,000 cash, according to an order filed Tuesday in the court clerk's office.

        Friends raised the money to get her released, said a man answering the woman's phone Tuesday morning. He declined to give his name but described himself as a family friend.

        The woman's attorney, Harry Hellings of Covington, didn't return repeated phone calls left over a two-day period.

        The woman is charged with first-degree assault. Police say she shot Mr. Howell on Thursday evening in a pharmacy parking lot next to the Covington Police station house. At the time he was shot, Mr. Howell was out on $1,000 bond after police charged him with trafficking in marijuana within 1,000 yards of a school and possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

        The accusations of molestation came to light after police raided Mr. Howell's home Nov. 25 and found about 25 photos of nude boys in sexual poses. Police have said none of those photos were of the woman's son.

        Police also removed a digital camera possibly used in sending child pornography over the Internet, according to court records.

        Police were tipped to possible wrongdoing after a female undercover agent at a federal prison in El Reno, Okla., intercepted communications between Mr. Howell and a prisoner. The exchange between the two described explicit sexual acts involving minors, according to court records.

        Mr. Howell's computer has been turned over to the Regional Electronics Computer Intelligence Task Force for inspection.


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