Letter to the Editor

Parents of slain man seek justice

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dear Editor:

The work is "Homicide, the killing of one human being by another."

That's the word used on the certificate of death of Harold Scott Howell, of Cassville, who was killed in a fight with several other individuals at Shoreline Campgrounds in Eagle Rock on Saturday March 11, 2006. Barry County Coroner Skip White made a statement to another news source: "Results of the autopsy show that death occurred from a heart attack due to stress from the altercation."

Scott's certificate of death states that the immediate cause was "head and neck injuries and mechanical asphyxiation." The way that I understand it we will all die from a heart attack, what caused the heart attack determines if we die from a homicide or natural causes.

Scott's death has brought up questions to me as to the ability of our county law enforcement to collect evidence and their ability to carry on a criminal investigation.

Can Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly call in for help from the State of Missouri if an investigation is overwhelming to him or his office?

Do our officers have the proper training to do an investigation?

Do our officers know when to call for help to do an investigation?

Can the Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox call in help?

Was Barry County Coroner Skip White present at the autopsy?

Did Coroner Skip White even view Scott's body?

I know they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but as Scott's mother and I viewed his body the day after his death we could not find to words to describe the abuse and damage that Scott received at the time of his death. We can only hope justice can be served for Scott, because no one should die in the manner he did.


Scott's Dad

Steve Bias

Cassville, Missouri