Alabama man to stand trial after waiving preliminary hearing in Douglas County sexual extortion case

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Devaris Lamar Howard, left, is pictured with his defense attorney, Cooper Overstreet, at a hearing in Douglas County District Court on March 23, 2023. Howard is charged with two felony counts of sexual extortion.

An Alabama man waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday and was ordered to stand trial on sexual extortion charges.

The man, Devaris Lamar Howard, 20, of Gadsden, Alabama, is charged in Douglas County District Court with two felony counts of sexual extortion of a then 18-year-old woman by communicating a threat to injure her reputation by distributing an image or video of her in the nude, according to charging documents.

The documents allege that the incidents occurred sometime between Aug. 30, 2022, and Oct. 11, 2022.

Judge Amy Hanley scheduled a trial for July 17. Howard’s defense attorney, Cooper Overstreet, said he was negotiating with the state to resolve the case short of trial.

Howard was arrested on the charges on Nov. 22, 2022, and was released on a $15,000 cash or surety bond a few days later.