LIMA — The attorney for one of two 17-year-olds being tried as adults in the robberies of Little Caesar’s and Hermie’s Party Shop in Lima earlier this year has stepped down from the case.
Carroll Creighton was granted permission by Allen County Common Pleas Judge Terri Kohlrieser on Wednesday to withdraw as the court-appointed attorney for Na’zier Howard. Creighton indicated that he has a potential conflict of interest in the case.
Kohlrieser confirmed there were “very likely” additional charges to be filed against Howard and agreed Creighton could be presented with a conflict based on those charges. The judge said a new attorney would be appointed to represent Howard by Thursday at the latest.
Howard and Juan Freeman II, both 17, each have been charged by a recent session of the grand jury with three counts of aggravated robbery. Each of the counts includes a specification that a firearm was used during the commission of the alleged crimes. The aggravated robbery charges, felonies of the first degree, are punishable upon conviction by prison terms of up to 16 1/2 years, while each of the firearm specifications would add a mandatory additional three years behind bars.
According to the indictments against both teenagers, they are alleged to have participated in theft offenses on or around Jan. 14 and allegedly did so while in the possession of firearms. The grand jury in the indictments allege that both Howard and Nazier “had a firearm on or about his person or under his control while committing the offense and displayed or brandished the firearm, indicated he possessed a firearm or used it to facilitate the offense.”
Howard and Freeman each are being held on $250,000 bond at the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center.