Appeal Of Tracie Hunter's Felony Conviction Denied
Suspended judge Tracie Hunter’s appeal of her 2014 felony conviction was denied in a 14-page opinion issued Friday morning by a three-judge panel of the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals.
Hunter has been suspended as a juvenile court judge since Oct. 14, after she was convicted on one felony count of unlawful interest in a public contract. She was sentenced to six months in jail by trial court Judge Norbert Nadel, but that was stayed by the Ohio Supreme Court pending appeal of her conviction.
She is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in the courtroom of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker on eight felony counts that the jury in 2014 could not come to a decision on.
Her lawyer for the appeal, David Singleton of the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, told WVXU that he and his client are "deeply disappointed in the 1st District Court of Appeals' decision this morning. We believe the court got it wrong."
Singleton said he plans to immediately file notice with the Ohio Supreme Court, asking the justices to hear Hunter's case and overturn it. He said he believes that Hunter will be able to remain free during that process.
"We will be filing a memorandum to the court explaining why it should take this case and then who knows how long it will take for the Ohio Supreme Court to decide whether or not it's going to take the appeal,'' Singleton said.
The opinion rejecting Hunter’s appeal, written by Judge Russell Mock, dismissed Hunter’s claim that her acquittal motion in the original trial was improperly denied.
It also rejected Hunter’s argument that the trial court erred when it failed to poll the jury at the conclusion of the case; and the appeals court rejected Hunter’s argument that there were numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct.
Singleton told WVXU that he believes that the biggest mistake the appeals court made was to reject the argument that the jury should have been polled.
Appeals court judges Patrick DeWine and Peter Stautberg concurred in the opinion written by Mock.
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