Jail inmate’s death ruled homicide

Amelia Holliday Staff Report

August 12, 2013

by Amelia Holliday—Staff Reporter

HAZARD—The cause of a Perry County inmate’s death has been ruled a homicide caused by injuries sustained in a jail beating last month, according to the final autopsy report from the state medical examiner.

Larry Trent, 54, was involved in an altercation with at least two deputy jailers at the Kentucky River Regional Jail on July 9 while he was being held there on DUI related charges. Trent was pronounced dead hours after the incident at Hazard ARH, having sustained a pelvic fracture and internal bleeding in his pelvis and flank as well as “blunt impacts of the head, trunk, and extremities,” according to the report.

The Perry County Coroner’s Office released portions of the report on Monday, which lists the manner of Trent’s death as a homicide caused by injuries sustained from an “assault in jail.”

Two deputy jailers, Damon Hickman and William C. Howell, were indicted on Aug. 2 on charges of first-degree manslaughter in relation to Trent’s death.

Attorney Roy Collins, with the firm Morgan, Brashear, Collins & Yeast, has been hired to represent Trent’s family. Collins said he and the family urge anyone who has information about Trent’s case or any other case involving abuse at the jail to contact him or the Kentucky State Police, who have an ongoing investigation into the case.

“The family just wants to know what happened, to know why it happened, how it was allowed to happen and they’ve hired me to make sure it never happens again,” Collins said.