Judge Jason Warner has no intention of resigning from the Marion County's Common Pleas Court, despite increasing calls for residents, local leaders and community activists to do so.
MARION – A Marion County judge and his wife have not pleaded guilty to all of the charges they face in connection with a June 4th accident.
Judges Jason D. Warner, 50, Marion, and Julia M. Warner, 53, Marion, appeared Tuesday morning before visiting Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove for a hearing in Marion County's Common Pleas Court. Samuel H. Shamansky, a Columbus attorney representing the Warners, stood on their behalf in the innocent lawsuits.
The following are charges against which the Warners have been charged: complicity in a vehicle attack, a fourth-degree crime; Complicity in a vehicle attack, a third degree crime; Complicity in leaving the scene of the accident, a crime of the fourth degree; and complicity in evidence manipulation, a third degree crime.
Shamansky said Warner has no plans to step down from the Marion County's Common Pleas Court, despite increasing calls for residents, local political leaders and community activists. Warner has said goodbye to the bank.
The Ohio Supreme Court issued an order on September 10th "banning Warner from serving as a judge … while all charges are pending in the Marion County Court of Common Pleas and pending further resolution from that court." This command does not remove Warner from the bank, but it does prevent him from directing cases.
Colton Gray, the 19-year-old Marion man who drove the second vehicle involved in the June 4 accident, attended the hearing, accompanied by three people. Gray and a young woman with him wore black long-sleeved shirts and black pants. They declined to comment on the case or answer questions.
Cosgrove, a retired Summit County's Common Pleas Court judge appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court on the case, placed $ 15,000 on bail for each of the Warners. She ordered that $ 10,000 of the bond be a 10% bond for each of the defendants ($ 1,000) and $ 5,000 to be a credit note for each individual.
"Usually the court has some borrowing requirement for third-degree offenses and I'll be following what I've been doing for the past 28 years," Cosgrove said. "With regard to the terms of the bond, I will expressly order the defendants not to have any direct or indirect contact with Colton Gray or his family. When I say directly or indirectly, I mean exactly that. No contact via third party, internet, tweet, something like that. No direct or indirect contact with Mr. Gray or his family. "
The Warners deposited the 10% bond after the hearing on Tuesday.
Prior to the judge's decision on the loan, Shamansky asked Cosgrove to consider the couple's release at his own discretion.
"As noted, (the Warners) have been in the county for 50 years; no (criminal) record," Shamansky said. "Apparently, Judge Warner has worked in the county for decades. His wife is a nearly 30-year veteran of the Westerville public school system. Absolutely no risk of escaping, Judge. You are here on a subpoena. You have been." nothing but cooperative with me.
"I urge you to accept the recommendation of the pre-trial discharge officer who ticked the 'own appreciation' box. If the court nevertheless deems it appropriate to issue a bond, my clients will of course, obey You all the rules of the court. "
Margaret B. Tomaro, senior assistant attorney general in the Ohio attorney general's office assigned to the special attorney, had requested that the bond be set at $ 10,000 for each of the warners.
Noticing a strong public interest in the case and coverage by regional news outlets, Cosgrove warned both the defense and prosecutors.
"I want to make it clear that we're going to try this case – if we end up trying – we're going to try in a courtroom, we're not going to try in the media or try in the press," she said. "Everyone is aware of the restrictions on ethical rules and professional codes of conduct. I expect both sides to adhere to professional codes of conduct."
Cosgrove scheduled a preparatory meeting for October 27 at 12:00 noon. She said the conference would be held by phone.