Ex-chief dies while serving sentence

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2004

MONTGOMERY – A former Demopolis police chief convicted on two sex-related charges in the mid 1990s has died while serving his prison sentence.

Clifton David Howell, who served as chief in Demopolis before Mayor Austin Caldwell was appointed in 1979, was transported from Bullock Correctional Facility to Baptist South in Montgomery where he died Monday.

“He had an illness while at Bullock, was transferred to Baptist South and passed in the hospital,” said Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett.

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Due to federal privacy regulations, Corbett would not specify the cause of death.

Howell was convicted in 1992 in Russell County of Rape I and in Sumter County on Sexual Abuse I.

He was due to be released in September of 2007.

Demopolis Mayor Austin Caldwell said Howell’s term in Demopolis was short lived.

“I remember the name but he was chief for only a very short time before I came (into office),” he said.

Little information, both in Demopolis and Sumter County, could be discovered about Howell or his tenure as police chief.

Livingston Police Chief Ashley Welborn said he could not find records immediately concerning Howell’s arrest or conviction in Sumter County.