The father of the 10-year-old Kannapolis [N.C.] boy arrested Friday for trying to take a glass of water to Terri Schiavo said the religious beliefs that led him and his son to Florida took root in him more than a decade ago. Specifically, he said, they came to him when he was 19, as he spent several months in an Ohio jail while awaiting trial on rape and kidnapping charges.
Howard Scott Heldreth, now 32, was in jail for parts of 1992 and 1993, court records show; he eventually pleaded guilty to sexual battery and served time on probation. Until jail, he said from his Kannapolis home Saturday, he believed strongly in evolution, especially the idea that the strong naturally ruled over the weak…
Heldreth on Saturday declined to discuss the specifics of the incident that led to his jail time. But he has written on a Web site that it happened at a college party and involved a young woman there.
The former Naperville, Fla., resident remains listed on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sex offender registry, but he’s not registered on North Carolina’s; the N.C. equivalent applies to offenders convicted on or after Jan. 1, 1996.