Kathryn Rubino, Above the Law, July 23, 2019
Absolute chaos erupted in an Ohio courtroom when former juvenile judge Tracie Hunter was sentenced to six months in jail.
According to prosecutors, the former judge improperly received documents about a teenager who complained they were struck by Stephen Hunter, the judge’s brother, who worked as a youth corrections officer and then passed them on to her brother. Tracie Hunter was convicted of a fourth degree felony, unlawful interest in a public contract. The conviction came down in 2014, but a series of appeals and legal maneuvers kept her out of jail until now.
On Monday, the former judge appeared before Judge Patrick Dinkelacker who ordered she should serve the six-month sentence imposed in 2014. But, as reported by WCPO Cincinnati, there was a lot of pressure on Dinkelacker to not execute the sentence against Hunter. Judge Dinkelacker said he received 45 postcards at his home asking him not to send Hunter to jail, and local politicians also made their appeal:
In a letter, Mayor John Cranley asked Dinkelacker to not execute Hunter’s sentence.
Cranley said Hunter should not be placed in jail because she’s been punished enough professionally and because she has not committed a violent crime.
But Dinkelacker said he would not bow to pressure and imposed the jail sentence.
When Dinkelacker ordered Hunter taken into custody, her supporters in the courtroom began shouting in anger. At least one of the supporters wearing a “Justice for Judge Hunter” shirt was taken into custody after she rushing officers. Hunter stands, then appears to go limp as officers drag her out of the courtroom.
You can watch the scene as it develops below.