Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

State of Ohio v. Frank Lewis, Case No. 2021-0691
Fifth District Court of Appeals (Knox County)

Disciplinary Counsel v. Judge Pinkey S. Carr, Case No. 2021-1518
Cuyahoga County

State of Ohio v. Terry Barnes Sr., Case No. 2021-0670
Eighth District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)

State of Ohio v. Chaz Bunch, Case No. 2021-0579
Seventh District Court of Appeals (Mahoning County)

Was Hearing Required for Legal Claim Made After Conviction?

State of Ohio v. Frank Lewis, Case No. 2021-0691
Fifth District Court of Appeals (Knox County)

ISSUE: Does an appellate court have the authority to determine an affidavit’s credibility when upholding a trial court’s denial of a postconviction hearing?

One night in November 2017, a police officer pulled over Frank Lewis for speeding in Mount Vernon shortly after 1:30 a.m. The officer called for a K-9 unit, which reached the location three minutes later to check the area for drugs. In the following 10 minutes, two more officers arrived at the traffic stop.

At some point, the dog “alerted,” signaling it had found something. Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered methamphetamine.

Lewis was indicted on felony drug possession. He asked the Knox County Common Pleas Court to reject the evidence found in the search. After a May 2018 hearing , the court denied the request. Lewis pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

He appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, arguing the officer had no probable cause for the stop based on a speeding violation. The court disagreed and upheld the admission of the evidence. The Supreme Court of Ohio declined to accept his appeal.

After Conviction, Offender Raises Issues
In February 2020, Lewis filed a request, or petition, for postconviction relief in the common pleas court. He represented himself and argued his lawyer was ineffective at the hearing to consider suppressing the evidence. Lewis also alleged that the routine traffic stop violated his constitutional right against an illegal search because the stop extended beyond what was necessary for a speeding violation. Lewis provided his affidavit.

Lewis was appointed a new attorney, who amended the petition, arguing that Lewis’ first lawyer failed to cross-examine two of the three witnesses at the suppression hearing and didn’t ask any questions about the use of the dog or the subsequent search of the vehicle.

The court did not hold a hearing and denied Lewis’ petition in May 2020. The court determined that Lewis didn’t present facts to support his claims and didn’t show that the outcome of the suppression hearing would have been different.

In an appeal to the Fifth District, Lewis maintained that the trial court should have conducted a hearing to consider his claims. The appellate court disagreed. Lewis appealed to the state Supreme Court, which accepted the case.

Offender Maintains He Is Entitled to Hearing
Lewis notes that state law requires a trial court to hold a hearing in a postconviction matter unless the court’s review of the petition, files, and case record negate the claim. In his case, however, the trial court wrongly declined to hold a hearing about his postconviction claim, he maintains. He states that nothing in the record contradicts his affidavit, which contended that the canine sniff around the vehicle unjustifiably extended the length of the traffic stop beyond what was necessary to handle a speeding ticket. His brief states that he was stopped for traveling 29 mph in a 25-mph zone.

He also asserts that only a trial court can evaluate an affidavit’s credibility – which his trial court didn’t determine. The Fifth District then judged his affidavit’s credibility by concluding that the use of the dog didn’t prolong the traffic stop, Lewis argues. Yet, he maintains, the appeals court had nothing to rely on for its decision because there was no testimony in the trial court about the canine sniff and subsequent alert.

State Counters That Offender Didn’t Present Enough for Hearing
The Knox County Prosecutor’s Office responds that a credibility evaluation is one dimension in a trial court’s decision whether to allow a hearing on a postconviction petition. Not all affidavits entitle the person who is petitioning to a hearing, the prosecutor states. If the information in an affidavit doesn’t reach the level of a constitutional violation, then the court can decline to hold a hearing, the prosecutor maintains.

Regarding the affidavit, the Fifth District stated, “As self-serving testimony, the trial court could give little or no weight to [Lewis’] affidavit.” The prosecutor argues the court’s statement wasn’t a review of the affidavit’s credibility, but instead was a conclusion that the affidavit didn’t contain facts to support the claims. Lewis simply failed to provide any facts to reinforce the allegations, the prosecutor contends.

Kathleen Maloney

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Frank Lewis from the Ohio Public Defender’s Office: Max Hersch, 614.466.5394

Representing State of Ohio from the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office: Charles McConville, 740.393.6788

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Cleveland Judge Faces Discipline for Demeaning Defendants, Ignoring Law

Disciplinary Counsel v. Judge Pinkey S. Carr, Case No. 2021-1518
Cuyahoga County

The Board of Professional Conduct recommends a two-year suspension for Cleveland Municipal Judge Pinkey Carr. The board states that the disciplinary case is “without precedent” because of the “breathtaking number of infractions.” Among the judicial misconduct accusations against Judge Carr:

  • Issuing arrest warrants for defendants who didn’t appear for court in the first weeks of the government-issued stay-at-home order for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Holding hearings without a prosecutor present.
  • Unilaterally entering pleas for unrepresented defendants.
  • Arbitrarily imposing or waiving fines and court costs.
  • Jailing defendants to compel payment of fines and costs.
  • Creating false court journal entries.

Judge Carr has acknowledged much of the misconduct. However, she objects to the proposed sanction and the board’s decision about mitigating evidence related to her health. Because the judge has objected to the board’s conclusions, the Supreme Court of Ohio will hear oral argument in the matter.

Misconduct Complaints Span Two Years
Judge Carr was elected to the Cleveland Municipal Court in November 2011. The alleged misconduct occurred during a two-year period beginning in December 2018. In 126 pages of stipulations, Judge Carr has admitted to nearly all the allegations made by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which investigated the complaints against the judge. 

The professional conduct board’s report recounts “mere portions of the factual record” to illustrate the findings and support for the proposed sanction.

Judge Ignores Pandemic Closures, Behaves Inappropriately, Unfairly Jails Defendants
In mid-March 2020, in alignment with guidance issued by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, the municipal court’s presiding judge ordered the rescheduling of civil and criminal cases to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to protect the public and court employees. Judge Carr, however, continued to preside over her docket the next week. Criminal defendants who were not in jail followed the court order and did not appear for hearings. During a three-day period, Judge Carr noted in official court records that more than 30 defendants failed to appear. She ordered their arrests. She also set bonds from $2,500 to $10,000 in many of those cases. When local news media interviewed the judge, she lied about issuing arrest warrants. She also lied to her presiding judge about the actions.

In addition, Judge Carr routinely held hearings for defendants’ first appearances without the prosecutor, saying at times, “Let’s see how much we can get away with.” She arbitrarily waived fines based on defendant birthdays. She stated in court journal entries that prosecutors had amended charges, when she had made the changes unilaterally. The disciplinary complaint against her documented 34 incidents of the judge’s “inappropriate humor” and “frivolous and often demeaning dialogue with defendants.”

Judge Carr also scheduled hearings to determine defendants’ ability to pay court costs and fines without informing them or the clerk’s office of the hearing dates. When a defendant didn’t attend the hearing, she would issue an arrest warrant and set a $2,500 or higher bond. Judge Carr stipulated to six instances of incarcerating defendants to force the payment of fines and costs.

In open court, the judge discussed with her staff and defendants a television show called “Paradise Valley” about a fictional Mississippi strip club, stating what her “club name” would be. The judge would joke about accepting kickbacks on fines and arranging “hook-ups” from defendants for food, beverages, and products such as carpeting or storage space.

Panel Identifies Rule Violations, Reviews Other Factors
The panel that reviewed the allegations found Judge Carr engaged in voluminous violations of the rules governing the conduct of Ohio judges and of lawyers, including rules requiring judges to act at all times to promote public confidence in the judiciary’s independence, integrity, and impartiality; to uphold and apply the law; and to be patient, dignified, and courteous to those the judge deals with in an official capacity.

The board report stated:

“She ruled her courtroom in a reckless and cavalier manner, unconstrained by the law or the court's rules, and without any measure of probity or even common courtesy. Her actions could not help but seriously compromise the integrity of the court in the eyes of the public and all who had business there.”

The panel considered aggravating circumstances that could increase the suggested sanction and mitigating factors that could lead to a lesser penalty. Judge Carr asked that her diagnosed health conditions be considered as mitigating. The panel found no existence of a health disorder that caused the misconduct. However, the panel considered Judge Carr’s voluntary and ongoing participation in treatment as a mitigating factor. In recommending the suspension with no part stayed, the panel noted that if Judge Carr had not cooperated with the disciplinary process and committed to treatment, including a contract with the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program (OLAP), an indefinite suspension would have been warranted.

The professional conduct board adopted the panel’s findings and proposed suspension. The report recommends that the judge be immediately suspended without pay for the term of her suspension. It also recommends that the judge’s reinstatement to the practice of law depend on her compliance with the OLAP agreement and recommendations and a report from a qualified healthcare professional that she can return to practicing law competently, ethically, and professionally.

Judge Requests Reduced Suspension
In her objections, Judge Carr asks for a stay of 18 months of the suggested two-year suspension. She argues that when considering the role of her health, the board panel looked at causation rather than whether a disorder contributed to her misconduct. Her doctor’s thorough evaluation and diagnosis meets the burden of showing that she was entitled to greater mitigation than the board allowed when deciding on a sanction. And no additional complaints about her conduct on the bench have been made since she began receiving appropriate treatment, she adds.

Her brief also requests additional consideration of other punishment she has received from “pervasive negative reporting” on the events. The news media coverage has harmed her reputation in the Cleveland community causing her “additional severe emotional angst,” her brief states.

Disciplinary Counsel Disagrees With Judge’s Arguments
The disciplinary counsel maintains that the conduct rules require a “nexus” between the health disorders and the misconduct. The board determined that a connection wasn’t shown, for several reasons. The board was concerned that Judge Carr didn’t realize her conduct in court was problematic regardless of knowing the cause. The board also couldn’t attribute her misconduct to her health conditions at the time. Judge Carr’s disregard for the law for two years couldn’t be cast as momentary lapses in judgment caused by her health conditions, and the problems seemed to manifest only when she was on the bench, the board stated. The disciplinary counsel points out that Judge Carr was given credit for her commitment to treatment under a different rule that considers other mitigating factors.

The disciplinary counsel argues that negative news media publicity doesn’t qualify as a mitigating factor under the conduct rules, adding that Judge Carr chose to make false statements to the media about her actions during the early weeks of the pandemic. To adopt Judge Carr’s proposed six-month actual suspension betrays the public trust in the judiciary and minimizes her misconduct, the disciplinary counsel concludes.

Kathleen Maloney

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Judge Pinkey S. Carr: Richard Koblentz, 216.621.3012

Representing the Office of Disciplinary Counsel: Joseph Caligiuri, 614.387.9700

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Should Trial Court Have Granted Defendant’s Request to Withdraw Guilty Plea?

State of Ohio v. Terry Barnes Sr., Case No. 2021-0670
Eighth District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)

ISSUE: Does a defendant have a reasonable and legitimate basis to withdraw a guilty plea before sentencing after learning of evidence that would have changed the defendant’s decision to plead guilty?

Terry Barnes and his girlfriend stopped for gas at a Cleveland station in September 2017. Barnes and another woman, Leah McLaurin, got into an argument, and Barnes and his girlfriend soon left. Someone at the station called McLaurin’s brother, Jeffrey, informing him that Barnes and his sister had argued.

Late that evening, Barnes returned to the gas station, a popular gathering place, and Leah McLaurin was there. Barnes approached her to talk about the earlier disagreement. According to Barnes’ brief, surveillance footage shows that Jeffrey McLaurin ran from across the street, was armed, hit Barnes with his gun, then raised his gun at Barnes, who drew a gun. Both men fired their weapons. A third person also fired shots.

Leah McLaurin and two bystanders were shot, and Barnes was shot in the elbow. Leah died on the way to the hospital. Barnes and Jeffrey McLaurin were arrested. Ballistics evidence didn’t determine whose shot killed Leah.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Barnes on seven counts, including murder, voluntary manslaughter, and felonious assault, all with firearm specifications. Jeffrey McLaurin was also charged with multiple offenses.

During proceedings before trial, Barnes and the prosecutor reached a plea agreement. In September 2019, Barnes pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter with no firearm specifications.

Defendant Want to Withdraw Guilty Plea Before Sentencing
Before his sentencing hearing, Barnes asked to withdraw his guilty plea. He argued to the trial court that his lawyers hadn’t shown him one security video from that night with the audio track until after his guilty plea. Unlike the other footage he had seen, this video and audio would support his self-defense claim , because the sound on the video established that McLaurin fired the first shot, Barnes maintained.

The court held a hearing where Barnes’ prior attorneys testified, and the court reviewed the video/audio evidence. The court rejected Barnes’ motion, ruling there was no reasonable basis for him to withdraw the plea. Barnes was sentenced to five years of community control.

Barnes appealed to the Eighth District Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s decision. He appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio, which agreed to review the issue.

Decision to Go to Trial Rests With Defendant, Man Maintains
Barnes notes that withdrawing a plea after sentencing requires proof of a manifest injustice. But plea withdrawals before sentencing follow a lesser standard, he states. In State v. Xie (1992), the state Supreme Court explained that trial courts are to “freely and liberally” grant a defendant’s request to withdraw a guilty plea before sentencing if the defendant has a “reasonable and legitimate basis” for doing so in view of “all the circumstances” surrounding the original plea. Barnes states that it’s difficult to imagine a more reasonable and legitimate basis for withdrawing a plea than the revelation of evidence that would have given him a stronger case if he pursued his constitutional right to a trial.

His brief maintains that he didn’t know of the audio track for one of the videos because the prosecutors had marked all evidence as “counsel only.” According to court criminal rules, material marked “counsel only” cannot be shown to a defendant or others, but counsel may verbally communicate the content to the defendant. The day before Barnes’ sentencing hearing, one of his attorneys who was unaware of the prosecutor’s restriction gave Barnes a disc, which is the first time he heard the audio track, his brief states. Barnes, who had served in the military, believed it provided the necessary proof that he shot his weapon in self-defense and it should have enabled him to withdraw his guilty plea.

Barnes also maintains that when Ohio appellate courts review plea withdrawal requests, they depend not on Xie’s directives but instead focus narrowly on procedural protections, such as rights explained at the plea hearing. He adds that they also focus on the trial court’s interpretation of the reasons for the defendant’s request. He counters that only the defendant’s evaluation of whether to go to trial should matter. In his case, Barnes argues, the Eighth District ignored the importance of the audio track to him and instead relied on the views of his lawyers and the prosecutor regarding the importance of that evidence. The decision whether to plead guilty rests exclusively with the defendant, he concludes.

Trial Court Considered Multiple Factors, State Contends
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office responds that, as Xie pointed out, a defendant doesn’t have an absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea. A trial court must hold a hearing to evaluate whether the basis for the plea withdrawal is reasonable and legitimate, and the decision falls within the trial court’s discretion, the prosecutor states. The trial court in Barnes’ case considered numerous factors that have been identified by appellate courts in their rulings. Among them, the Eighth District found Barnes was represented by highly competent counsel who negotiated a favorable plea deal and the trial court held a complete and impartial hearing on Barnes’ request to withdraw his plea.

The prosecutor notes that Barnes discussed his self-defense claim with his original two attorneys and his subsequent attorneys. The Eighth District concluded that, despite Barnes’ view, other evidence in the record contradicted his self-defense assertion. One of his attorneys testified that nothing in the video or audio seemed relevant to the case, the appeals court noted. Another attorney stated that the sounds on the video didn’t automatically prove self-defense, and a potential life sentence was so great that the attorney still would have recommended taking the plea deal. The prosecutor also asserts that the evidence wasn’t “withheld” from Barnes because his attorneys gave him the opportunity to review any of the materials before his plea.

The prosecutor’s brief maintains that Barnes’ proposition of law would “drastically limit” the factors that trial courts can consider when ruling on a request to withdraw a guilty plea before sentencing. Barnes’ suggestion would eliminate the lengthy and non-exhaustive list of factors trial courts currently consider, the brief argues.

The state also contends that the case should be dismissed as improvidently allowed because Barnes didn’t object to the trial court about the factors it would use in evaluating his motion, and Barnes didn’t present an alternative test at that time.

State Attorney General Files Brief
An amicus curiae brief supporting the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s position has been submitted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Kathleen Maloney

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Terry Barnes Sr. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law: Joseph Shell, 216.368.2766

Representing the State of Ohio from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office: Frank Zeleznikar, 216.698.2726

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Did Defense Attorney’s Decisions Deny Fair Trial for Juvenile Convicted of 2001 Rape?

State of Ohio v. Chaz Bunch, Case No. 2021-0579
Seventh District Court of Appeals (Mahoning County)

  • Was a defense lawyer’s cross-examination of an eyewitness, without consulting with or calling an expert to question the witness’ credibility, ineffective assistance of counsel?
  • Is Ohio’s mandatory bindover law unconstitutional for juveniles accused of committing certain violent crimes?

Chaz Bunch was 16 years old when he was convicted in 2002 of rape and several other crimes. He has petitioned for postconviction relief. In his appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio, he asks for an evidentiary hearing before a trial court judge. A hearing before the trial court could allow for further presentation of evidence, which could eventually lead to a new trial.

Juveniles Accused of Kidnapping, Rape, Robbery
In August 2001, a 22-year-old Youngstown State University student, identified in court records as “M.K.,” arrived to work at a midnight shift at a group home. A black vehicle drove up to her and 15-year-old Brandon Moore approached M.K. with a gun and demanded money. Moore forced M.K. into her car and drove away holding her at gunpoint. The black car followed, and M.K. memorized its license plate number. Andre Bundy was driving the black car, and Jamar Callier was a passenger. Moore stopped M.K.’s car to pick up a passenger known at the time only as “Shorty Mack.”

Moore and Shorty Mack began to sexually assault M.K. while driving. The cars stopped at a dead-end road, where M.K. was forced out of the car and repeatedly raped by Moore and Shorty Mack. Callier went through M.K.’s trunk. To try to stop the rape, M.K. stated she was pregnant. Callier told Moore and Shorty Mack to stop and let M.K. leave. Shorty Mack threatened to shoot M.K. Before leaving, the attackers warned M.K. that if she told anyone about the incident, they would harm her and her family.

M.K. then drove to her boyfriend’s house, and her boyfriend’s parents took her the hospital. At the hospital, the boyfriend’s parents told a Youngstown police officer about the attack and gave the license plate of the black car. Youngstown police located the vehicle at a convenience store about 30 minutes after M.K.’s assault. Police located Moore, Bundy, and Callier in the car, but the driver ran away. The three identified the driver only as Shorty Mack.

An officer located Chaz Bunch nearby and questioned him. He wasn’t detained by police. Later, when provided more information about the rape, the officer indicated Bunch met the description of Shorty Mack. Video surveillance footage from the convenience store identified Bunch with the other three men in the black car.

Victim Identifies Attackers
M.K. was able to identify Moore, Callier, and Bundy from photographs shown to her by police. She described each of their roles in the attack. When shown photos of Bunch, M.K. stated she was “drawn” to his picture but needed a full body picture to identify him. She stated the shape of his body would help her identify him. A few weeks later, a local newspaper ran photographs of the suspects, including a photo of Bunch from the torso up. M.K. called police and identified him as the other man who raped her.

Investigators obtained DNA evidence conclusively identifying Moore as one of the males who raped M.K. No DNA evidence or fingerprints identified Bunch as a participant in the crime.

Moore and Bunch were tried together, over Bunch’s objection. At the trial, M.K. identified the juveniles as the ones who raped her. Callier also testified and identified Moore and Bunch as the attackers. Callier pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Moore admitted to robbing M.K., forcing her into the vehicle, and raping her. Bunch denied involvement in the crime. Each were convicted and sentenced to 115 years in prison.

Sentences Reduced, New Trial Sought
Since his conviction, Bunch has maintained his innocence and made several unsuccessful attempts to win a new trial. However, he and Moore were successful in challenging the constitutionality of their sentences. Bunch’s sentence was reduced to 49 years in prison.

Bunch first petitioned for postconviction relief in 2003, but the trial court didn’t act on his request. In 2017, Bunch amended the request, adding a claim that his mandatory transfer from juvenile court to adult court was unconstitutional based on a 2016 Supreme Court of Ohio decision. That claim was coupled with his allegation that his rights were violated when a trial court ruled, without a hearing, that Bunch failed to demonstrate that his trial lawyer’s assistance was ineffective.

Bunch appealed being denied a hearing on his postconviction relief petition to the Seventh District Court of Appeals, which in 2019 affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Bunch appealed the Seventh District’s decision to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.

Failure to Consult Expert Was Ineffective Counsel, Offender Argues
Because no DNA or physical evidence placed Bunch at the crime scene, M.K.’s identification was critical to the prosecution’s case, Bunch explains. Bunch’s original court-appointed attorney requested funding for an eyewitness identification expert. The funding was granted, but never expended by the original attorney or the attorney representing Bunch during his trial. Bunch notes his trial attorney was disciplined by the Supreme Court several times for matters not related to Bunch. That attorney didn’t hire an expert witness to question the reliability of M.K.’s identification. Instead, the attorney cross-examined M.K.

The appeals court ruled the attorney’s actions were a strategic decision and not ineffective counsel. Bunch argues the cases where the failure to call an eyewitness identification expert has been found to be strategic were instances when the prosecution had presented an expert witness and the defense attorney cross-examined the state’s expert. In this case, no expert testified for either side. Bunch argues the only evidence identifying him as an assailant was testimony of M.K. and Callier. Bunch maintains Callier’s testimony is unreliable because he received a favorable plea deal for his cooperation.

Bunch adds that the state has also denied more sophisticated DNA evidence testing. Because the case relies so heavily on the witness identification, Bunch argues he deserves a hearing to determine whether expert testimony regarding witness identification is necessary for a fair trial.

Hearing Was Required Before Transferring Youth, Accused Asserts
Bunch notes that after the Supreme Court issued its 2016 State v. Aalim decision, which found Ohio’s mandatory bindover process unconstitutional, he amended his postconviction petition to argue that his case was improperly transferred to adult court. However, in 2017, the Supreme Court reversed its decision in State v. Aalim and ruled the process is constitutional. Bunch asks the Court to revisit the matter again and rule that a juvenile court must conduct an amenability hearing to determine if the minor can be treated in the juvenile system before any decision is made to transfer the case to adult court.

Defense Attorney Wasn’t Ineffective, Prosecutor Argues
The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office maintains that Bunch’s attorney’s decision not to call an eyewitness identification expert wasn’t an error that would entitle Bunch to a new trial. The prosecutor notes the attorney had the funding and time to contemplate hiring an expert and chose not to question the reliability of a rape victim’s testimony.

The office notes, Callier, who knew Bunch, identified him and confirmed M.K.’s testimony. Coupled with the other evidence presented in the case, that testimony conclusively proved Bunch was the other assailant, the prosecutor asserts. The introduction of testimony from an expert discussing the possibility that M.K.’s identification was biased by police investigators or media reporting wouldn’t change the outcome of the trial, the prosecutor maintains.

The prosecutor also rejects Bunch’s argument that the mandatory bindover law that sent his case to adult court is unconstitutional. The office argues the Supreme Court found the process was constitutional, and the office maintains that nothing in the U.S. or Ohio constitutions grants a juvenile the right to be tried in juvenile court.

Oral Argument Time Divided
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office submitted an amicus curiae brief supporting the prosecutor’s office. The Court granted the attorney general’s request to divide oral argument time with the prosecutor.

Additional Friend-of-the-Court Briefs Submitted
An amicus brief supporting Bunch’s position has been submitted jointly by the Innocent Project Inc. and the Ohio Innocence Project. Another brief supporting Bunch’s position was submitted jointly by the Children’s Law Center; Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, and Montgomery County Public Defender’s Offices; Justice for Children Project; Juvenile Law Center; National Association for Public Defense; National Juvenile Defender Center; and Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Center.

Dan Trevas

Docket entries, memoranda, briefs (including amicus briefs), and other information about this case may be accessed through the case docket.

Representing Chaz Bunch from the Ohio Public Defender’s Office: Stephen Hardwick, 614.466.5394

Representing the State of Ohio from the Mahoning Cunty Prosecutor’s Office: Ralph Rivera, 330.740.2330

Representing the Ohio Attorney General’s Office: Samuel Peterson, 614.466.8980

These informal previews are prepared by the Supreme Court’s Office of Public Information to provide the news media and other interested persons with a brief overview of the legal issues and arguments advanced by the parties in upcoming cases scheduled for oral argument. The previews aren’t part of the case record, and aren’t considered by the Court during its deliberations.

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