HAZARD—The trial of two deputy jailers accused in the beating and subsequent death of a jail inmate has yet again been postponed.
Damon Hickman, 36, and William C. Howell, 54, were indicted on charges of first-degree manslaughter last year in connection with the July 9, death of then inmate Larry Trent, 54, who was being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail on DUI charges. According to the state medical examiner’s report, Trent’s death was caused by blunt trauma to his head and body from a “jail beating.”
Hickman and Howell appeared in Perry County Circuit court on Thursday, where Hickman’s attorney, Kevin Johnson, brought up a possible issue for his case if the Sept. 22 trial date was not changed.
Johnson explained that the experts he had ready to testify in the case would not be available for the second week of the trial, which would be almost the exact time when Johnson would need them to testify.
Johnson requested that the trial be moved forward, acknowledging that the trial had already been moved numerous times for other reasons.
The specially appointed prosecuting attorney, Assistant Attorney General Barbara Maines-Whaley, had no objection to the motion to postpone the trial.
Judge Bill Engle granted the motion, and set the trial for Dec. 1.
Hickman and Howell were both released from home incarceration earlier this year.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.