August 6, 2013
by Cris Ritchie — Editor
HAZARD — Two deputy jailers indicted on charges of manslaughter are currently inmates themselves after surrendering to police on Tuesday.
The Kentucky State Police reported 36-year-old Damon Hickman of Hazard and 57-year-old William C. Howell of Floyd County, both deputies at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard, turned themselves in to detectives on Aug. 6. They are currently listed as inmates in the Leslie County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.
Hickman and Howell were indicted on Aug. 2 on charges of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of 54-year-old Larry Trent following an altercation at the jail on July 9. According to a report filed with the Kentucky Department of Corrections, Howell reported that Trent initiated a fight with Hickman and Howell after the two deputy jailers were attempting to remove items from Trent’s cell he was not allowed to have.
Trent was eventually subdued with the help of at least two more deputies and placed into a cell, where he was found unresponsive nearly three hours later. He was pronounced dead at the Hazard ARH medical center later that day. According to a preliminary report from the state medical examiner’s office, Trent suffered skeletal and visceral injuries as the result of a “jail beating.”
Both Hickman and Howell face 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. They are currently set for arraignment in September.
Police say the incident remains under investigation.