Phil Howerton, a longtime Mecklenburg County judge who tempered justice with mercy and used his own trials with addiction to help others overcome theirs, died Friday of pneumonia related to Parkinson’s disease, his family said. He was 84.
A former Marine, Howerton was a lawyer, prosecutor, public defender and judge with degrees from Davidson, Princeton and the University of Virginia. He had eclectic interests. He was an unpublished novelist, a voracious reader, an expert