Judge denies new trial for Abilene man sentenced to life for sexually abusing 2 girls

Howard Dee Sturgis

An Abilene man sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing two girls will not get a new trial.ABILENE, Texas -

Howard Dee Sturgis, 57, had filed a motion for a new trial. He said it was a conflict of interest for his attorney to also represent his co-defendant, Chelsea Diaz.

Judge Lee Hamilton denied the motion.

Sturgis was convicted and sentenced in November. Diaz pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The abuse, according to documents, occurred between January 2015 and April 2017.

The victims – both girls -- were both under age 14. 

During Sturgis’ trial, a sexual assault nurse coordinator testified that one of the victims said Sturgis would force them to watch obscene videos and sexually abuse them.

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