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Child rapist David Harold Earls may face trial after indictment

SONYA COLBERG Modified: September 3, 2009 at 7:59 am •  Published: September 3, 2009

o counts involve the girl; one count involves the boy.

Edmondson said his investigators worked in several states to uncover a history of sexual abuse that will prove beneficial once a trial has been scheduled. He said the stories of Denise Earls and two relatives who came forward after the first case helped establish what seemed to be a pattern of behavior by David Earls.

Denise Earls said she won’t speak to her father again outside a court setting.

"I still have hurt feelings. Your father is supposed to protect you from people like this. Not have your own father do this to you,” she said.

Edmondson said the grand jury considered Earls’ two prior felonies of burglary and assault with a dangerous weapon. On the new charges, he could face 20 years to life imprisonment.

Earls made an initial appearance Wednesday in court and bail was set at $400,000. Court Clerk Cindy Eller said he was found indigent and will qualify for a public defender. A judge will be assigned to the case and a preliminary hearing set.

The grand jury’s work began Monday with testimony from the children’s mother, grandmother and investigators. In the locked courtroom, the jurors also apparently watched video in which children were questioned.

The children’s mother said they had managed to put the ordeal behind them but now the children will likely need to testify.

"I honestly thought the original sentence he received was good enough for him because of his medical condition and he didn’t have long to live, the fact that he lived ... away from everybody,” she said. "He didn’t bother anybody and he’d be on probation and he’d have to register. And he wouldn’t be able to be around children anymore because it would violate his probation.

"I figured that would be enough to keep him from doing it to anybody else. Which was why I was OK with the original verdict. But now that it’s obvious it’s probably going to go back to court, I feel sorry for his family.”

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