Former Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter. (File)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19/AP) -
The Ohio First District Court of Appeals has upheld former Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter's conviction for unlawful interest in a public contract.
The three judge panel ruled against her claims of prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments and improper polling of the jury and that her motion for acquittal should've been granted.
Hunter was sentenced to six months in jail on the single count but has remained free since challenging the conviction. A court official said the sentence will be addressed on Jan. 19 - the same day Hunter begins a retrial for eight felony charges.
After a five week trial in October of 2014, Hunter was found guilty on one of the nine felony charges against her.
She was convicted of using her judicial influence to intervene after her brother, a juvenile court employee, was fired for assaulting an underage inmate, and passed confidential information about the inmate to her brother.
The 12-person jury was deadlocked on the remaining eight felony charges. She will be retried on those charges, which include tampering with evidence and theft in office.
Friday's decision reads in-part:
Hunter’s conviction for having an unlawful interest in a public contract was based on sufficient evidence; therefore the trial court properly denied her motion for an acquittal. Further, the trial court did not commit plain error when it polled the jury after receiving the verdict for having an unlawful interest in a public contract but before it was publicized. And the state’s comments during rebuttal closing argument did not deprive Hunter of a fair trial.
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