On last day, judge hears 3 cases
The jurist has been the presiding appeals court judge for 20 years.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- On his last day on the bench in the 11th District Court of Appeals, Judge Donald R. Ford Sr. heard oral arguments on three cases, one of which was the appeal of a city man's 2005 drug convictions.
Judge Ford, 74, who was elected to the bench in 1982, was not eligible to run again for the seat because of his age. The Ohio Constitution prohibits any person from running for a judge position after their 70th birthday.
Judge Ford has been presiding judge since 1986 and will remain so until his replacement takes over the seat Feb. 9, said Patricia Sontag, deputy administrator for the court. She said he still has cases to complete during the final months of his term, such as writing opinions.
Democrat Mary Jane Trapp of Russell Township in Geauga County, and Republican Paul Brickner of Willoughby are running for the seat in the Nov. 7 election. The court building is on High Street downtown.
On his last day hearing cases Thursday, Judge Ford dealt with an appeal by Lyndal Kimble, 31, who was convicted of eight counts of drug trafficking, two counts of cocaine possession and one count of tampering with evidence in July of 2005. He was sentenced to 101/2 years in prison.
Generally, the appeals court issues a ruling on a case in two to three months after hearing oral arguments, Sontag said.
Kimble's June 2003 arrest received national attention over his allegation of police brutality. That traffic stop and arrest were videotaped by a bystander and then shown to local and national broadcast networks. Warren police said Kimble swallowed a small amount of suspected drugs before resisting the officers, who were trying to get him to spit out the evidence.