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October 14, 2012

Man pleads not guilty to seriously injuring two children

GREENVILLE — A Quinlan man has pleaded not guilty to allegations he seriously injured two children during a family violence incident in July.

An arraignment hearing was conducted in the 354th District Court Thursday for James Henry Howard Jr.

Howard, 27, was indicted last month by the Hunt County grand jury on two counts of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. The indictments were issued sealed, pending Howard’s arrest and arraignment on the charges.

Judge Richard A. Beacom accepted the pleas and scheduled a tentative trial date for Jan. 14, 2013.

The indictments allege that on July 10, Howard assaulted two boys of less than 14 years of age, who were members of Howard’s household, by squeezing each of the children’s chests and causing rib fractures. Howard was also alleged to have created bruising on the victims and/or to have beaten them “with an object unknown to the grand jury.”

Howard was previously convicted and sentenced to state jail in connection with a 2004 burglary of a vehicle.

Each of the injury to a chid charges are first degree felonies, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

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