FRANK D. LAZZERINI Petitioner
GEORGE T. MAIER, SHERIFF Respondent
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
PETITIONER DONALD J. MALARCIK, BRIAN M. PIERCE
RESPONDENT JOHN D. FERRERO, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, KATHLEEN O.
TATARSKY, ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR
John W. Wise, P. J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Earle
E. Wise, Jr., J. JUDGES.
John, P. J.
Petitioner, Frank D. Lazzerini, has filed a Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus alleging unlawful detention due to excessive
bail. Respondent has filed an Answer, Return, and Motion to
An indictment has been issued against Petitioner containing
272 felony counts. Those counts include Telecommunications
Fraud, Grand Theft, Tampering with Records, Involuntary
Manslaughter, Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs, and
Trafficking in Drugs.
The principles governing habeas corpus in these matters are
well established. Under both the United States and Ohio
Constitutions, 'excessive bail shall not be
required.' If the offense is bailable, the right to
reasonable bail is an inviolable one which may not be
infringed or denied. In re Gentry (1982), 7 Ohio
App.3d 143, 7 OBR 187, 454 N.E.2d 987, and Lewis v.
Telb (1985), 26 Ohio App.3d 11, 26 OBR 179, 497 N.E.2d
1376. The purpose of bail is to secure the attendance of the
accused at trial. Bland v. Holden (1970), 21 Ohio
St.2d 238, 50 O.O.2d 477, 257 N.E.2d 397');">257 N.E.2d 397.
In Ohio, the writ of habeas corpus protects the right to
reasonable bail. In re Gentry. A person charged with
the commission of a bailable offense cannot be required to
furnish bail in an excessive or unreasonable amount. In
re Lonardo (1949), 86 Ohio App. 289, 41 O.O. 313, 89
N.E.2d 502. Indeed, bail set at an unreasonable amount
violates the constitutional guarantees. Stack v.
Boyle (1951), 342 U.S. 1, 72 S.Ct. 1, 96 L.Ed. 3.
Pursuant to Crim.R. 46, in determining what is reasonable
bail, the court must weigh various factors: the nature and
circumstances of the offense charged, the weight of the
evidence, the accused's history of flight or failure to
appear at court proceedings, his ties to the community,
including his family, financial resources and employment, and
his character and mental condition. After weighing these
factors, the trial judge sets the amount of bail within his
sound discretion. In a habeas corpus action to contest the
reasonableness of bond, this court must determine whether the
trial court abused its discretion. Jenkins v. Billy
(1989), 43 Ohio St.3d 84, 538 N.E.2d 1045; In re
Gentry (1982), 7 Ohio App.3d 143, 7 OBR 187, 454 N.E.2d
987; Lewis (1985), 26 Ohio App.3d 11, 26 OBR 179,
497 N.E.2d 1376; and In re Green (1995), 101 Ohio
App.3d 726, 656 N.E.2d 705. In re Periandri, 142
Ohio App.3d 588, 591, 756 N.E.2d 682, 684 (8th
What bail is or is not reasonable is a question for the
exercise of sound discretion by the court. The decision is
dependent upon all the facts and circumstances in each
individual case. Bland v. Holden (1970), 21 Ohio
St.2d 238, 257 N.E.2d 397');">257 N.E.2d 397 [50 O.O.2d 477]." Petition
of Gentry 7 Ohio App. 3d 143, 145, 454 N.E.2d 987,
An abuse of discretion occurs when a court's decision is
unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable. Blakemore v.
Blakemore, 5 Ohio St.3d 217, 219 (1983).
Bail in the underlying case was set in the amount of $5, 000,
000. Petitioner filed a motion requesting modification of the
bail. A hearing was held wherein the parties presented
arguments in support of their positions. No evidence was
offered in support of the arguments.
At the hearing on the motion to modify the bail amount, the
trial court relied on the seriousness of the offenses charged
which include two involuntary manslaughter counts, engaging
in a pattern of corrupt activity, 28 counts of aggravated
trafficking in drugs, 9 of which include major drug offender
specifications, in its decision to keep the bond at five
million dollars. Further, the trial court found the
probability of appearing in court was lessened due to ...