Thursday, March 6, 2003

Kenton Co. still wants mother prosecuted in groin shooting

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOUISVILLE - The Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office would like to see Jaymie Hutchins prosecuted for shooting Larry Howell in the groin, but a special prosecutor assigned to the case more than a year ago said he will make the final call.

A grand jury has already refused to indict the Covington woman in the shooting of Howell, a man she claimed abused her young son.

A spokesman for Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney David Stengel in Louisville said his office will not re-present the Hutchins case to a grand jury unless someone comes forward with credible, new evidence.

The state attorney general's office assigned Stengel's office to the Covington case after it was ruled Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Crockett had a conflict in the case. He was already prosecuting the man on drug and molestation charges and did not want to be in a position where he was trying both an accused child molester and the mother of an alleged victim at the same time.

One reason Crockett's office said it would like to revisit the case is that all 14 charges that accused Larry Howell, 42, of Erlanger of molesting Hutchins' son, now 14, have been dropped.

The charges were dropped in an agreement in which Howell pleaded guilty to 45 other charges, most of which involved molestation of seven other boys.

Howell was sentenced to 35 years in prison on those charges.

He had already been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of three drug crimes involving youth in a separate court case late last year.

Howell has consistently claimed Hutchins shot him in the groin over money she owned him. He denied ever molesting her child.

The shooting, which took place outside the Covington police station in a customized van, made Hutchins a minor celebrity.

Supporters donated her $10,000 bond to keep her out of jail until the charges against her were dismissed.

Crockett was out of town on vacation Wednesday and it was unclear what new evidence he might forward to Stengel.


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