Friday, January 11, 2002

Public defender sought in abuse case

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A Kenton District Judge will consider this morning a request for a public defender by Larry Eugene Howell, who faces charges of child molestation, according to court documents.

        “At this time, I am asking that you turn my case over to the public defender's office,” Mr. Howell, 40, of Erlanger wrote to Covington attorney David Bender in a letter dated Jan. 6 that is on file at Kenton District Court. “I am unable to pay you for your services. There are no hard feelings on my part, and I am sure you will agree this is the best for me.”

        The judge will also have to consider a motion to cancel a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday so that a public defender might adequately prepare for the case.

        Mr. Howell faces nine counts of sodomy after having been charged with improper sexual contact with at least 30 boys, investigators have said.

        Mr. Bender, when representing him, had said his then-client was not guilty.

        Mr. Howell is being held at the Kenton County Detention Centerin lieu of $250,000 cash bail.

        The mother of one of his alleged victims, whom The Enquirer is not identifying to protect the identity of her son, has been charged with assault in the shooting of Mr. Howell in the groin and abdomen in late November.

        The mother is free on bond.


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