Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Jefferson
HAKEEM C. HERBERT, PETITIONER,
FRED ABDALLA, SHERIFF FOR JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO, RESPONDENT.
for Writ of Habeas Corpus
Petitioner Attorney R. Aaron Miller
Respondent Frank J. Bruzzese Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
JUDGES: Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Carol
OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Petitioner Hakeem C. Herbert has filed an application for a
writ of habeas corpus asserting that his $500, 000 bail is
unreasonable and excessive. Respondent has filed an answer
seeking to have the writ dismissed and denied, arguing that
the bail is reasonable and not excessive.
The docket in the underlying criminal case reflects that
Petitioner was indicted for fifth-degree-felony heroin
trafficking in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1)(C)(6)(a), on
October 4, 2016. Petitioner retained counsel, pleaded not
guilty, and remained free on a personal recognizance bond.
The trial court set a pretrial for December 12, 2016.
Petitioner initially failed to appear for the hearing. The
court issued a warrant, Petitioner appeared later that day,
and the warrant was recalled. At Petitioner's request,
the court rescheduled the trial date from January 12, 2017,
to February 2, 2017.
At the request of the parties, the court scheduled a pretrial
for January 27, 2017. Near the conclusion of that hearing,
the parties advised the court that they had reached a
negotiated plea agreement. Pursuant to the agreement, the
court advised Petitioner that he would have to report to the
Jefferson County Adult Probation Department for completion of
an EOCC Evaluation and Pre-Sentence Investigation. The court
then set a change-of-plea and sentencing hearing for February
Petitioner failed to report to the Jefferson County Adult
Probation Department for completion of an EOCC Evaluation and
Pre-Sentence Investigation. He also failed to appear for the
February 28, 2017 change-of-plea and sentencing hearing. The
court issued a warrant for Petitioner's arrest.
On March 8, 2017, Petitioner's counsel filed a motion to
vacate the warrant and the court set a hearing on the motion
for March 20, 2017. Petitioner appeared at the March 20, 2017
hearing at which time the court ordered him taken into
custody. The court then set a bond hearing for March 27,
2017. At the conclusion of that hearing, the court set
Petitioner's bail at $500, 000 and house arrest.
On March 27, 2017, Petitioner filed an application for a writ
of habeas corpus asserting that the $500, 000 was
unreasonable and excessive. Respondent filed an answer on
April 28, 2017, contending the bail was reasonable and not
excessive. Meanwhile, Petitioner's retained counsel filed
motions to withdraw in both the underlying criminal case and
the matter before this Court. Both motions were granted. We
proceed to a determination of Petitioner's application.
Persons accused of crimes are "bailable by sufficient
sureties" and "[e]xcessive bail shall not be
required." Section 9, Article I, Ohio Constitution. The
purpose of bail is to secure the attendance of the accused at
trial. Jenkins v. Billy, 43 Ohio St.3d 84, 85, 538
N.E.2d 1045 (1989). Habeas corpus is an extraordinary remedy.
Howard v. Catholic Social Serv. of Cuyahoga Cty.,
Inc., 70 Ohio St.3d 141, 145, 637 N.E.2d 890 (1994).
However, habeas corpus is the proper remedy to raise the
claim of excessive bail in pretrial-release cases. Chari
v. Vore, 91 Ohio St.3d 323, 325, 744 N.E.2d 763 (2001).
The burden of proof in a habeas corpus case alleging
excessive bail is on the petitioner. Id. at 325.
"In satisfying this burden of proof, the petitioner must
first introduce evidence to overcome the presumption of