The Zanesville City Law Director paints a picture of two parents who left children unsupervised while they went out and partied as the case involving Warren and Tamara Howard begins in Municipal Court. The Howards are charged with eight counts of child endangering.
Law Director Scott Hillis said that the Howards on the night of July 15th were reckless in letting children stay overnight at their Taylor Street home, while not checking on them and because of their inaction they created risks for those teens, which involved drinking alcohol. During the prosecution's case, Detectives John Hill and Phil Michael testified that Tamara Howard was allowing some of her sons friends to stay overnight to celebrate a birthday. They also said that the Howard boys parents didn't stick around home that long, leaving shortly after five that evening for a night out.
Detective John Hill said that the Howards went to Terry's Tavern had a couple beers, went to dinner at Maria Adornetto's and had a few more drinks and then bought a six pack of beer and went to an area near Kirkbride's Marina and drank before traveling back to Terry's Tavern.
The prosecution said while the party at the Taylor Street home took place in a detached garage 25-30 feet from the Howards home the teens waited until the parents were in bed to begin drinking.
Some of the teens even told detectives that after drinking they walked to Westview Elementary School after midnight. Other kids along with a teen, who said he wasn't drinking, went to get fast food at 3a.m. The prosecution contends had the Howards checked on the teens during the night they would have found the alcohol in plain view.
Detectives testified the teens had another adult, David Stewart, buy them the alcohol for the party and that both the Howards knew the boys had a history of drinking at the home because they were caught months prior to the July incident. Zanesville Police Detective and Evidence Tech Moore said that plastic cups, empty bottles and beers cans were found outside the Howards fence line in a neighbor's yard.
The defense contends the Howards had no reason to suspect the boys were drinking because no items were found in the home and that the boys had duped their parents under the assumption it was just a sleepover.