Deputy Jailers Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Inmate

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1 - 20 of 114 Comments Last updated Aug 12, 2013
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bmoc

Hyden, KY

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#2
Aug 2, 2013
 

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Finally!
Wondering

London, KY

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#3
Aug 2, 2013
 

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a man gets shot 17 times and killed on his front door step, now a man gets beat beyond recognition to his death in jail. both cases result in manslaughter charges. what the hell is considered murder in this county? geez!!!!!!
Hazard man

London, KY

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#4
Aug 2, 2013
 

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They need to be in jail I wouldn't done a dog that way
not this time

London, KY

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#5
Aug 2, 2013
 
Wondering wrote:
a man gets shot 17 times and killed on his front door step, now a man gets beat beyond recognition to his death in jail. both cases result in manslaughter charges. what the hell is considered murder in this county? geez!!!!!!
Prolly when you run over a dog in the road!
about time

London, KY

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#6
Aug 2, 2013
 

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hope someone does them the way they have done people for years.rest your necks kurt and damon!!!
Sam

London, KY

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#7
Aug 2, 2013
 
"IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!", I'd be careful saying that. Might have bad luck, you know, back in the fall of 1991, when we had a real bad drought, it started raining and I said "it's about time!". Just as soon I uttered those words, it stopped raining!!!
Tiffany

Somerset, KY

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#8
Aug 2, 2013
 
Karamelized wrote:
Grand Jury indicted them, and they have been charged. See Hazard Herald article.
Is There A News Article Link To This Story ?
yes

London, KY

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#9
Aug 2, 2013
 
indictments

Emmalena, KY

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#10
Aug 2, 2013
 

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I'm wondering why they were charged with manslaughter instead of murder. If I were the family members I would be finding out why these aren't murder indictments.
Roy

London, KY

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#11
Aug 2, 2013
 

Larry Trent, 54, of Upper Second Creek, was involved in an altercation with staff at the jail on July 9 at around 7:30 a.m., according to the extraordinary occurrence report (EOR) filed with the DOC three days after the incident by jail administrator Tim Kilburn. Trent was found unresponsive three to four hours later in his cell and pronounced dead at Hazard ARH at 12:20 p.m. that day.

Kilburn recorded the type of extraordinary occurrence in the report as aggravated assault on staff and the homicide of an inmate. Kilburn did not return calls seeking comment this week, but declined comment for the Herald's initial story on this case on the advice of the jail's attorney and insurance company.

The report, which the Herald obtained through an open records request with the DOC, lists the names of the staff involved in the occurrence as Damon Hickman and William Howell, both of whom are listed as having been placed on administrative leave. The names of witnesses to the occurrence are listed as “several.”

In a short narrative included in the EOR, Howell described the details of the incident, citing the cause of the altercation as Trent having “items he was not allowed” in his cell, and when deputies tried to take those items from Trent, he allegedly initiated the altercation.

“Myself and Deputy Hickman opened the door to get the items. He (Trent) came out fighting. I tased him. He didn't stop,” Howell wrote.

Howell wrote that Trent ran to the booking desk, at which point at least two other deputy jailers came to assist Hickman and Howell.

“We got him (Trent) to detox. He then took the Taser from my hand; we kept it under him till (sic) we could get it back and got him under control (and he) was placed in the cell,” Howell wrote.

One deputy jailer was apparently reprimanded after the alteration, according to the report. James C. Combs was sent home by Howell, his supervisor, and told to call the jail administrator because he allegedly would not help other deputies restrain Trent.

According to an employee warning report filed on the day of the incident, Combs is listed as being careless, violating the rules, and having unsatisfactory behavior. Howell wrote on the report that Combs “would not help in a fight (and) stood and watched, then walked off.”

Combs did not sign the report before it was filed.

An observational log was included in the EOR for the hours between the altercation and Trent being found unresponsive. Hickman wrote that he checked on Trent every 20-30 minutes beginning at 7:40 a.m., and initialed each entry. He reported the “inmate seemed 10-4 at this time” until 9:38 a.m., at which time he recorded Trent was moving around the cell. A log for 10:36 a.m. gives no observation but is still initialed.

A preliminary report from the state medical examiner's office on July 10 notes Trent had sustained injuries as the result of a “jail beating” which included “blunt impacts of head, trunk, and extremities with multiple skeletal and visceral injuries.” Officials with the Perry County Coroner's Office said an official cause of death has yet to be determined and it could be several months before the medical examiner's office is able to conclude.

Trent was being held for a DUI charge from July 5 and a bench warrant for charges from 2012. At his arraignment on July 8, the judge had set a $1,000 surety bond for Trent.
serious suggestion

Emmalena, KY

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#12
Aug 2, 2013
 

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This family needs to get in contact with the ACLU. They have a website and a main phone number. Call it and they will then direct you to a proper person to handle the incident. This case is serious and needs to be looked at by people away from Perry County.
about time

London, KY

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#13
Aug 2, 2013
 

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does anyone know if they have been picked up yet?they should be hunted down and handcuffed and took straight to jail till their arraignment like anyone else who gets indicted is.not turn them self in at their leisure!
Truthfully

Somerset, KY

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#14
Aug 2, 2013
 

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I don't believe anything that Damon, Curt or James says.
pay back

Eubank, KY

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#15
Aug 2, 2013
 

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if they tased him he would not get up that a rite out lie and they are full of bull shit they beat the man to death that a fact
pay back

Eubank, KY

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#16
Aug 2, 2013
 

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who in charge of the jail i like to know no one the way it going i guss the guards can do what ever they dont have a boss

Since: Aug 11

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#17
Aug 2, 2013
 
This is from the Hazard Herald article by Cris Ritchie and Amelia Holliday

HAZARD – Two men were indicted Friday on charges of first-degree manslaughter relating to the death of an inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Jail.

Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen confirmed the indictments against Damon Hickman and William C. Howell Friday evening, saying that while indictments have been returned, the grand jury will continue to look into the matter.

“We’re not done yet,” Hansen said.“They (the grand jury) heard enough to feel they could indict with manslaughter.”

Hansen said the grand jury only has to determine whether there is enough evidence in a case to determine probable cause. The case will now move to Perry Circuit Court for prosecution.

Hickman and Howell, who served as deputy jailers in Hazard, were placed on administrative leave on July 9 after the two were involved in an altercation with 54-year-old Larry Trent, who was an inmate in the jail at the time, according to a report filed with the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Nearly three hours after the altercation, Trent was found unresponsive in a cell before being transported to the Hazard ARH medical center, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to a preliminary report issued by the state medical examiner’s office, Trent had suffered “blunt impacts of head, trunk, and extremities with multiple skeletal and visceral injuries” and described the injuries having occurred as the result of a “jail beating.” An official cause of death, however, has not yet been released.

First-degree manslaughter is a Class B felony, punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Gosh

Hyden, KY

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#18
Aug 2, 2013
 

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For them to be charged with murder the Commonwealth would have to prove beyond a reasnable doubt there were intent to commit murder. Manslaughter is the more appropriate charge and easier to prove in court.
Coco pebbles

London, KY

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#19
Aug 2, 2013
 

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Are they in jail now?
pay back

Eubank, KY

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#20
Aug 2, 2013
 

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that sucks that all i can say cover up
missed it

West Liberty, KY

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#21
Aug 2, 2013
 
who is hickman's wife?

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