NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Ohio’s former two-time Mr. Football turned down a plea deal following a home invasion back in August.
North Canton police said 20-year-old Erick Howard, along with Seth Obermiller, 19, broke into an apartment on Sunford Avenue SE.
The two robbed a couple at gunpoint and bound them with duct tape, police said. The police report said the woman was also sexually assaulted. Police said 20-year-old Michael Taylor was also arrested for his involvement.
On Monday, Howard refused a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 12 years, according to Judge Taryn Heath’s bailiff. Now, he is set to go to trial on Jan. 30.
An arrest warrant was issued for Howard after the Aug. 20 robbery for burglary, rape and theft. More than a month after the crime, Howard turned himself in to police with attorney Rufus Sims. Sims is a well-know defense attorney in the Cleveland area and was part of convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell’s defense team.
Howard was the first Stark County football player to win the Mr. Football award in 2008. He won the award, which is given out by the Associated Press, again in 2009.