Tracie Hunter avoids jail after tense hearing

Posted at 11:06 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 18:42:40-04

CINCINNATI – Tracie Hunter will stay out of jail, a judge said Friday.

Hunter arrived more than an hour late for a court hearing Friday, just one day after herjail sentence was stayed.

Attorneys for the suspended juvenile court judge won another stay in U.S. District Court Thursday after filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Federal Judge Timothy Black ruled that Hunter could remain free during those proceedings, trial attorney David Singleton posted on Facebook Thursday evening.

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Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker said he would not defy the federal judge who issued the stay of Hunter's jail sentence a day earlier, despite calling that judge's move "an overreach."

Black "has, in my opinion, stepped into state proceedings," Dinkelacker said.

“I, as a judge, respect the law," Dinkelacker added. "I, as a judge, follow the law, obey the law.”

Dinkelacker also warned Hunter to show up on time at 9 a.m. for her next appearance in August.

"You don't say a word to me," Dinkelacker said when Hunter responded. "That's it: be here on time, or you go to jail."

Before Black stayed Hunter's sentence, she had been scheduled to begin a 60-day jail sentence Friday. Hunter, a suspended juvenile court judge, was found guilty of one count of judicial misconduct more than a year ago.

Hunter and her attorney, David Singleton, have argued that Hunter's constitutional rights were violated during her trial.

“If Judge Dinkelacker had followed the law, it would have been dismissed before it began,” Hunter said as she left the court.

Hunter addressed her supporters outside the court after the hearing.


“I follow the laws and the Constitution of the United States of America and I will continue to follow the laws,” Hunter said. “But I will fight as long as my rights continue to be violated. I will fight for the children of Hamilton County. I will fight for the parents of Hamilton County. And I will fight for each and every one of you as long as I have strength and blood in my body.”