Lima teen charged, again, in 2019 murder


By J Swygart - [email protected]



Na’Zier Howard confers with Allen County Public Defender Kennth Sturgill during his arraignment hearing Tuesday on charges of murder in the 2019 shooting death of Kevonta Cowan.

Na’Zier Howard confers with Allen County Public Defender Kennth Sturgill during his arraignment hearing Tuesday on charges of murder in the 2019 shooting death of Kevonta Cowan.


J Swygart | The Lima News

LIMA — A Lima teenager has been arraigned on murder charges for the second time in as many months in Allen County Common Pleas Court.

Pleas of not guilty were entered Tuesday on behalf of Na’Zier Howard, who was indicted by the April session of the grand jury on charges of murder, aggravated murder and having weapons under disability in connection with the 2019 shooting death of Kevonta Cowan.

The teenager faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted of the charges.

Howard was initially indicted in connection with Cowan’s death in August of last year after his case was bound over from Allen County juvenile court. Prosecutors say Howard shot and killed Cowan in December 2019 and that he was a juvenile at the time of the incident.

The murder charges against Howard were dismissed temporarily last month due to a technicality that was deemed necessary following an Ohio Supreme Court ruling governing the binding of juvenile court cases over to adult courts, Judge Jeffrey Reed said during Tuesday’s hearing.

According to court records, police were called on the evening of Dec. 17, 2019, to 225 S. Kenilworth Ave. in Lima and found Cowan suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The grand jury indictments allege the shooting occurred as Howard was committing, attempting to commit or fleeing immediately after an offense of aggravated burglary and/or an offense of violence.

Since the case has been in the hands of prosecutors and defense attorneys for several months, Reed set a May 3 date for Howard’s jury trial — just two weeks away — and said all motions related to the case must be submitted by April 26.

Howard, 19, is currently housed at the London Correctional Institution where he is serving a 14-year prison sentence for his role in armed robberies at Hermies Party Shop and Little Caesar’s pizza in Lima in January 2020. He and co-defendant Juan Freeman were each juveniles at the time of the robberies. Freeman was sentenced to 28 years in prison for participating in the robberies and in October of last year had four years added to that sentence for escaping from juvenile detention and eluding law enforcement for six weeks.

Na’Zier Howard confers with Allen County Public Defender Kennth Sturgill during his arraignment hearing Tuesday on charges of murder in the 2019 shooting death of Kevonta Cowan.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_NaZier-Howard-arraigned-4.19.22.jpgNa’Zier Howard confers with Allen County Public Defender Kennth Sturgill during his arraignment hearing Tuesday on charges of murder in the 2019 shooting death of Kevonta Cowan. J Swygart | The Lima News

By J Swygart

[email protected]

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

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