Hunter motions for dismissal/retrial

Nov 13, 2014

Tracie Hunter's attorney, Clyde Bennett, (right), argues for dismissal before Judge Norbert Nadel
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Former juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter will find out next week if a common pleas judge will overturn her conviction or order a retrial.

Hunter was back in court Thursday morning with her lawyer, Clyde Bennett II, who had filed two motions: one for a retrial, and another for an acquittal.

On October 10, the jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.  But they could not agree on the other eight charges.  At the time, Judge Norbert Nadel polled jurors, ordered the verdict sealed, and sent them back to work.  Defense attorney Bennett says since then, three jurors have said guilty was not their true verdict, and Judge Nadel should have polled them again.

But special prosecutor Merlin Shivendecker says the jurors who changed their minds had "buyer's remorse" and Judge Nadel followed precedent.

Judge Nadel pointed out that he told the jurors their verdict was a “done deal”. 

Bennett says Hunter should not have been convicted, because the charge does not apply.  He says there was no evidence that Hunter bought, purchase or acquired property or services, through her position as a judge.  But special prosecutor Scott Croswell says Bennett was not interpreting the law properly.  Croswell says Hunter used her influence to protect her brother’s employment as a bailiff.

Judge Nadel will rule next week on the motions.   If he dismisses them both, sentencing is scheduled for December 2.  That's also when the special prosecutors are expected to announce whether or not they want to try Hunter again.