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County Court: Drunken man appears on DUI chargeTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Cody T. Howard

Cody Howard didn't sober up for his appearance Thursday before Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull Thursday to face a charge of second offense driving under the influence.

Howard, 23, was arrested in March and he has been out on bail.

Howard appeared on May 27 to face Turnbull, but the case was continued because Howard said he was unsure of his attorney. Turnbull warned him to be sure to stay clean and sober until he returned.

On Thursday, Turnbull looked Howard in the eye.

"Will you test clean today?" He asked.

He hesitated, then he said, "Probably not."

Turnbull asked him the last time had a drink. Howard said two days.

"If it’s been two days, then why do you think you won't pass the test?" Turnbull asked. Defense Attorney Blaine Gillett advised him not to lie.

“Maybe it has been sooner,” Howard said.

Turnbull instructed an deputy to take Howard to the probation office to be tested, and said to Howard, "I told you if I caught you using I would revoke your bail.”

Howard was told if he was clean, the proceedings would continue, and if not, he would go to jail.

He returned later with the results -- his alcohol level was 0.348.

Turnbull revoked his bond and Howard was escorted to the jail.



On May 27, Howard appeared before Turnbull and said he was not sure what attorney represented him. Turnbull recommended a continuance until June 19 so Howard could meet with a public defender.

He asked Howard when he had bonded out of jail.

Confusingly, Howard said this was his “first move since being released.”

Turnbull told him that he seemed to be having difficulty understanding the proceedings and was not communicating well. He asked Howard if he were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   

Howard assured him he was clean.

Turnbull looked him in the eye and asked again.

"If you were tested right now, would you be clean?" Turnbull said. 

“Yes,” Howard said.  

“Clean from alcohol?”

Howard admitted that he might not pass a test for alcohol. 

“It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that something isn't right with you,” Turnbull said.

Before granting the continuance, Turnbull ordered a drug test, and added that bond would be continued pending the outcome.

He was escorted to the probation office for a test and then returned.   

“I see they brought you back,” Turnbull said.

Howard reported that the tests came back negative, but then he admitted to using marijuana and meth a week ago. Howard told the judge that he had a rather unusual high.

He said he just wanted to tell the truth. 

“I just figured that it (marijuana) wasn’t what it was, because I had experienced an unusual high.” said Howard. “I just wanted to be honest. I got it laced with stuff.” 

Turnbull thanked him for his honesty, but said he believed Howard was using a lot more that he said. However, because he tested negative he would let his bond stand.

“I remember you were really generous to me last time I spoke with you,” Howard said. “Generous is not in my vocabulary, but you are free to use it if you want,” Turnbull said.  He told Howard he would find out how “ungenerous” he could be if he didn't do as instructed.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/10/2014
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