YOUNGSTOWN Judge to decide about witness
Charles Scott's attorney said there's no proof that he knew about the subpoena.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A judge will decide whether a North Side man should be punished for ignoring a subpoena to testify in court.
But an attorney for Charles Scott says there is no proof that he even knew about the subpoena. Scott, 19, of Guadalupe Avenue, has been in the Mahoning County Jail since being picked up on a warrant in late July.
He was one of three people subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify during the murder trial of Frederick Easterly, which began July 16 in common pleas court.
Jurors heard testimony from five witnesses, mostly police officers, on the first day. When it came time for the eyewitnesses to take the stand, none of them was there.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum suspended the trial for two days while authorities hunted for the witnesses. When they could not be located, he halted the trial indefinitely. Scott was picked up on the warrant a few days later.
Contempt: A hearing was Tuesday during which Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Pochiro argued that Scott should be found in contempt of court because of his failure to respond to the subpoena.
But defense attorney Gary Van Brocklin argued there is no proof that Scott had "actual knowledge" of the subpoena. Court records show that a deputy sheriff delivered the subpoena to Scott's address July 12, but did not personally serve it upon him.
"There's no proof that he even lives at that address," Van Brocklin said. "For all we know, he could be nomadic."
Without proof that Scott knew about the subpoena, the state can't prove that he deliberately ignored it, Van Brocklin said.
Decision: Judge Krichbaum took the matter under advisement and said he will issue a decision in writing.
Meanwhile, Easterly's trial is scheduled to resume Monday, even though the other two witnesses have not yet been located. Scott is being kept in jail without bond until he testifies. For his safety, Scott is not to be housed with inmates charged with or convicted of crimes.
He is also being paid $25 per day for each day he's kept in jail. Ohio law requires such compensation for material witnesses who are incarcerated against their will.
Easterly, 19, of Gypsy Lane, is charged with murder in the Oct. 1, 2000, shooting death of 19-year-old Bert King of Lora Avenue. King was shot twice while outside a house on Elm Street.