Brawl Interrupts Ohio Hearing in Murder Case


Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- What was expected to be a routine hearing for an Ohio murder suspect turned into a courtroom melee Wednesday.

Jason Howard is accused in the deaths of girlfriend Jameila West and her three children. But while he was in court waiting for a hearing to begin on another murder he's suspected in, one of west's relatives allegedly began pummeling him. Court authorities pulled the man off Howard but then say other family members began throwing punches as well.

No word on any injuries, but the handcuffed Howard could be seen sitting speechless afterward.

Two people were arrested.

Authorities say West was shot in June, her ten-year-old daughter strangled, and two younger sons smothered. Howard says he had nothing to do with the killings.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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