Howland woman who assisted killer sentenced to probation

Staff report


Tina M. Davis of Howland, who assisted Richard Latimer a short time after Latimer killed a man and a short time before Latimer was killed by Howland police Feb. 7, 2017, was sentenced to five years’ probation Thursday.

Davis, 34, of Stillwagon Road, pleaded guilty in December to one count of tampering with evidence for washing the clothes of Latimer, 34, after Latimer killed Van Blevins, 44, of Main Street in Mineral Ridge.

When Latimer, of Mines Road in Howland, showed up at her home that night and told her he had shot someone, she helped him by washing the clothes he was wearing, then went to the Dollar General store on East Market Street and bought him paper towels and bleach.

Chris Becker, assistant county prosecutor, said Davis had no criminal record before this incident, but washing Latimer’s clothes was criminal because she knew the stains on the clothes were from Latimer’s having shot someone.

“She certainly made some very stupid mistakes,” he said. “She tampered with evidence in the Van Blevins case.”

Authorities said Latimer’s day began with a domestic dispute at home and Latimer fleeing from police.

At 7 p.m., his wife called 911, saying she and her daughter had just fled from Blevins’ house after Latimer had shot Blevins there.

Police learned Latimer was headed to the Howland Giant Eagle parking lot, and police responded there and spotted Latimer in a car.

Two Howland officers shot and killed Latimer when he raised a gun toward them.

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