Jury pool in Hunter's trial may be tainted by Deters' statements - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Jury pool in Tracie Hunter's trial may be tainted by county prosecutor's statements

Tracie Hunter's trial starts at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hamilton County Courthouse (Photo: FOX19) Tracie Hunter's trial starts at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hamilton County Courthouse (Photo: FOX19)

Judge Tracie Hunter's criminal trial starts Monday.  She's facing eight felony counts. She's also getting hit with some damaging statements by the Hamilton County prosecutor.

FOX19 NOW reported earlier this week Prosecutor Joe Deters says Tracie Hunter's refusal to lock-up a convicted drug dealer led to the deaths of two other men.

FOX19's Gordon Graham talked to hunter's attorney about how Deters' statements might affect the defense.  

Hunter's attorney Clyde Bennett who tells FOX19 Deters' comments are not going to make his job as a defense lawyer any easier and he calls those statements just plain wrong. "I was disturbed by Mr. Deters' statements, his press release. I was disappointed. I thought it was a calculated attempt to unduly influence the jury."

A jury that will asked to weigh the felony charges against hunter including: Two counts of tampering with evidence, two counts of forgery, two counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract and two counts of theft in office.

Just days before the trial Deters talked with FOX19 by phone about Tracie Hunter. Deters said "The judge made a terrible mistake. She has consistently tried to let kids out that shouldn't be let out of prison."

Bennett says statements like that are going to make it tougher to find a fair and impartial jury, but FOX19 legal analyst Mike Allen says he has faith in the system. "Just because of the fact that
a potential juror heard something about the case on TV, radio, newspaper that does not automatically disqualify them.  If that juror can tell the judge that he or she will disregard what she's heard in the media and render a verdict based on what comes from the witness stand and the law that's given her by the judge that's still a good juror that's why I don't think we'll have a change of venue."

Allen says Judge Norbert Nadel will keep the trial from turning into a circus.

"He can keep the egos in check and plus you have a defendant who is of questionable mindset at times."

When asked about his legal strategy Bennett's said "You don't need a strategy when you have not committed a crime. You don't have to come up with a plan or a scheme to vindicate yourself."

Allen says the public can look forward to a lot of drama, a lot of emotion and a lot of facts as prosecutors walk the jury through why they think Hunter broke the law and he expects Clyde Bennett will provide a vigorous defense. Of course we'll have that all covered for you here on FOX19 NOW.

The trial starts at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

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