HAZARD—One of two deputy jailers charged in the death of an inmate may have to find different legal representation due to a possible conflict of interest in the case.
Damon Hickman, 36, and William Howell, 54, were indicted earlier this month on charges of first-degree manslaughter in the beating death of 54-year-old Larry Trent, who was being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail on DUI related charges early last month.
Hickman and Howell appeared in Perry County Circuit Court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing to have their cases consolidated, however, due to a complaint from an attorney with the Perry County Public Defender's office, which is representing Howell, the hearing was postponed until Sept. 5.
Judge William Engle said in court that because Trent had been previously represented by the public defender's office in Perry County that there could be a possible conflict of interest, which would mean Howell would need to be represented by the public defender's office in another county.
Hickman was placed on home incarceration on Aug. 9, after Paul Hickman posted his $75,000 cash bond, according to records in the circuit clerk's office. Howell, meanwhile, is still being held at the Leslie County Detention Center on a $75,000 cash bond.