Howes receives immunity from prosecution; legal case ends

Published: Apr. 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM EDT
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Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The legal case against Isaiah Howes is over The former University of Louisville baseball player will not face charges in the shooting death of former football player Daniel Covington.

Late on April 1, Judge Barry Willett sided with Bart Adams, Howes' attorney, who argued he should be immune from prosecution. In his ruling, Willett said when Covington entered Howes' SUV at Second and Liberty Streets early on the morning of September 16, 2010 and began assaulting Howes and his brother that triggered Howes right to defend himself.

Willett also ruled that while there is no doubt someone in the Howes SUV used a racial slur, but said that words or slight provocation is not enough to void the self-defense law. Adams said that despite an admission in court that a racial slur came from their vehicle, there was never any doubt his client acted in self-defense.

"That slight provocation or the provocation verbal is never enough to take away from the possible defendant his right to self-defense," said Adams. "That's written in the law and has been known for a long time. It's very unfortunate that Isaiah's brother did that and said whatever it was that he said, but it didn't give Mr. Covington the right to do what he did ... to enter the cab of that vehicle and start slugging the both of them."

The Commonwealth's Attorney's office tells us that they are under a judge's order that stops them from going forward with prosecution, so the case against Howes is over. They say in reading the ruling, at this point, they cannot say the court got the law or the facts wrong, so they don't plan to appeal.

WAVE 3's Katie Bauer is getting reaction to this ruling from Steve Pence, the attorney for Daniel Covington's mother. She will have that tonight on WAVE 3 News at 11.

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