Convicted murderer arrested for fifth time in four years

Posted April 16, 2012, at 3:32 p.m.
Last modified April 16, 2012, at 5:33 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 42-year-old Rockland man is being held at the Knox County Jail on a probation violation, the fifth time he has been behind bars since being released four years ago for his role in the murder of a Warren man.

Earl Nash was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday by Rockland police after officers responded to a report of a fight on Rockland Street near Main Street. The fight was over when officers arrived.

Rockland police Sgt. Kenneth Smith said Nash was arrested on a probation violation, but details of what occurred Sunday that led to his arrest were not immediately available. He is likely to make his first court appearance Wednesday in 6th District Court in Rockland.

Nash was sentenced in 1996 to 20 years in prison with all but 16 years and 274 days suspended for felony murder and robbery in connection to the April 1992 death of 79-year-old Carroll Howard at his home in Warren.

Nash also was placed on probation for six years. He was released from prison about four years ago.

The death of Howard initially was not considered a homicide, but later a suspect in another case alerted state police about what he had heard occurred at the home.

Nash was one of three people convicted in Howard’s death.

According to court testimony in the 1990s, Nash and the two other men had been on a drinking binge and ran out of liquor and money. They broke into Howard’s mobile home and demanded money. Nash punched the elderly man in the face. The trio then pulled the telephone out of the wall so that he could not call for help. Howard bled to death on the floor of his trailer.

The three got away with $5, a telephone and tools.

The three men missed $1,300 in cash that was in Howard’s pocket.

Nash’s last probation violation occurred in May 2011 when he was arrested for a drug violation. He was sentenced in June to serve eight months of the previously suspended jail term for the drug violation.

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