Sunday, October 27, 2002

Molestation suspect faces drug trial

Howell's defenders successfully argued to separate cases

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Kenton County prosecutors will try Larry Eugene Howell on several drug offenses first, delaying for several months his trial on 46 counts of sodomy involving nine boys.

Public defenders for Mr. Howell, 41, formerly of Erlanger, successfully argued that the cases should be separated.

Mr. Howell's case gained recognition when the mother of one of his alleged victims shot him in the groin just outside the Covington police station. Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Crockett will not say whether the shooter's son is one of the boys involved in charges against Mr. Howell.

The trial on five drug charges, in addition to a persistent felony offender charge, will begin Thursday in Kenton Circuit Judge Douglas Stephens' courtroom. The drug charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Mr. Howell is accused of providing boys with marijuana, according to court records. In one case, he allegedly sold or gave away marijuana within 1,000 yards of a school.

Another reason for the delay in trying Mr. Howell on the sex charges is that Kenton County Police Detective Wayne Wallace, who helped investigate the sex charges, will be involved in the Adele Craven murder trial starting next week in Lexington. If Detective Wallace were to testify in both trials, it would present a hardship for prosecutors in both cases.

Mr. Howell has been in an isolation cell in the Kenton County jail since November 2001. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. He had previously served 17 years and six months in Kentucky on various burglary charges.

He has consistently denied the charges against him, and has said he turned down a plea agreement offered by the state.


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