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Drowned boy had been in harm’s way previously


The children of Stephanie Williford Howell frequently found themselves in harm’s way.

On three occasions this year before last week’s drowning of 3-year-old Karson Howell, authorities were made aware of what they call “incidents” in which Stephanie Howell’s children were placed in life-threatening situations.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office reports detailing those incidents were released Thursday, a day after Stephanie Howell was arrested and charged with cruelty to children causing death.

The charge alleges “willful” cruelty towards children “by corporal negligence.”

State Attorney Bill Eddins said his office issued a warrant for Stephanie Howell’s arrest only after investigators carefully considered the reports of neglect “in their totality.”

In one of the incidents described, just three weeks before he drowned, Karson was pulled unconscious from a pool at another location and taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.

To read more, click here.

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