Man sent to prison for stealing jewelry from Newsoms home

Published 7:42 am Friday, January 6, 2012

COURTLAND—A Suffolk man who stole jewelry valued at $67,000 from a Newsoms home to buy drugs asked a judge to send him to a treatment program instead of prison.

Kevin Howell got both.

Judge Rodham Delk on Thursday sent Howell to prison for five years. He will be enrolled in a drug treatment program through the state Department of Corrections.

Howell in June broke into the home and attempted to sell the jewelry door-to-door in Newsoms. Appearing in Southampton County Circuit Court, he said he used the money to buy crack cocaine.

“What I did was a direct result of my drug problem and I know it was wrong,” Howell told the court. “Everything I’ve tried to do in my life has been brought down by drugs.”

Howell will be required to pay $67, 230 in restitution, which includes $7,230 to the victim and the balance to the insurance company.

Howell’s mother, Dorothy Howell, testified that her son has had a drug problem since he was 15 and completed a treatment program before entering the military. She asked the court to allow her son to participate in the Youth Challenge drug treatment program instead of going to jail.

The state guidelines only called for probation, but Delk said he didn’t think the Youth Challenge program would work for the defendant, given his history with drugs.

“There’s not much you haven’t abused,” Delk said. “I don’t regard you as a danger to the community, but I do regard you as an extreme nuisance.”