LIMA – The attorney for a 19-year-old Lima man charged with kidnapping and rape argued in court Monday that some statements made to police by his client, as well as DNA evidence taken from the suspect’s genitals, should be ruled inadmissible.
Zach Maisch, representing Jazz Howell, said during Monday’s hearing in Allen County Common Pleas Court that the detective who interrogated Howell following his arrest waited for some 30 minutes into his questioning to read the defendant his Miranda rights against self-incrimination. Maisch said any statements made by Howell prior to that warning should not be permitted at trial.
Additionally, Maisch said that a DNA swab of Howell’s penis should be disallowed because his client — who had initially consented to the invasive DNA search — had a last-minute change of heart and attempted to revoke that consent.
But testimony from Detective Sean Neidermire of the Lima Police Department, who interrogated Howell, and LPD identificaion officer Gregory Adkins, who observed as Howell took the DNA swab from his penis, indicated the defendant did not seek to revoke his consent to the swab at any point in the proceedings.
Judge Jeffrey Reed took videotaped interrogations of Howell for review and said he would issue a ruling on the motions to suppress in the near future.
A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 1.
According to court documents, on Jan. 31 Lima police officers responded to a fight in progress in the 500 block of North Woodlawn Avenue. Officers were advised a woman was being assaulted by Howell inside the residence.
Upon their arrival, the alleged victim told police she had been physically and sexually assaulted by Howell, who answered the door when police arrived and subsequently was taken into custody.
Interviewed at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center by Detective Sean Neidermire of the Lima Police Department, the alleged victim said she went to the Woodlawn Avenue home to visit Howell but that the pair got into an argument. The woman said Howell slapped her in the face, removed her pants and forced her to have oral sex and sexual intercourse with him.
According to court records, Howell admitted to police he physically assaulted the alleged victim and had sex with her.