Hunter's request for new trial denied

Nov 20, 2014

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

A suspended juvenile court judge will not get a new trial or an acquittal on her conviction for unlawful interest in a public contract.  Tracie Hunter was found guilty last month of using her position as a judge to preserve her brother's job as a bailiff. 

Her attorney filed motions after three jurors said they were coerced into returning a guilty verdict.  Judge Norbert Nadel denied the motion for a new trial Thursday morning.  In his decision, Nadel wrote jurors cannot change their minds after they've been polled.  He said granting a new trial would jeopardize future deliberations and verdicts.

Nadel also declined the motion to acquit, saying there was sufficient evidence for a conviction.

Hunter's sentencing has been delayed.  Instead, Judge Nadel will hear arguments December 2 on another motion from Hunter's attorney.  Clyde Bennett II says a juror failed to disclose she'd been molested by a minister.  He says that qualifies as misconduct, and may have influenced the juror's decision because Hunter is a pastor.

The special prosecutors have not said if they will seek a retrial on the other eight counts against Hunter.  The jury could not reach a verdict on charges of tampering with evidence, forgery, theft in office, and misuse of a credit card.