YOUNGSTOWN Gilliam goes free; bond was hot issue
The East Sider must cooperate with authorities in a case against his cousin.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The man at the center of a tempest over the amount of his jail bond earlier this year no longer faces any criminal charges.
Drug charges against Wayne Gilliam of Castalia Avenue were dismissed this week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court as part of an agreement between his lawyer and the prosecutor's office.
Gilliam, 19, and his 21-year-old cousin, James L. Mosley IV of Youngstown, were indicted by a county grand jury earlier this year on charges of trafficking in crack cocaine and complicity to trafficking in marijuana.
The dismissal agreement says Gilliam is to testify against Mosley when his case goes to trial later this year.
Bond controversy: Gilliam's case caused a furor because at the time of his arrest on the drug charges he was free from jail on an aggravated murder charge. Judge Robert Douglas Jr. of Youngstown Municipal Court had set his bond for the murder charge at $50,000 but allowed him to post 10 percent, or $5,000. Critics argued that the bond was too low for an aggravated murder charge.
The murder charge became a moot point, though, when a county grand jury declined to indict Gilliam in April.
Without the murder charge hanging over his head, the bond for Gilliam's drug charges was lowered by Judge James C. Evans of common pleas court from $100,000 cash to $25,000, with 10 percent payment allowable.
Out of jail: Gilliam paid $2,500 and was released from the county jail shortly afterward to await the trial that he now won't have to face.
"You shouldn't assume someone is guilty just because they are charged with something," said defense attorney Scott Cochran. "I don't believe he was guilty of either of those charges. He could have been sitting in jail all this time for nothing."
Cochran said that Gilliam was a bystander in the drug charges and that he was "in an area where something happened and they decided to indict him."
Robert Duffrin, an assistant county prosecutor assigned to the Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force, declined to comment because of Gilliam's involvement with the case pending against Mosley.