PRESS RELEASE, 9/3/2014

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces request for dismissal of Judge Hunter case in Court of Appeals

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced that he requested the First District Court of Appeals to dismiss Case No. C-130728 In Re: T.D.T. due to the homicide of the appellee (T.D.T./Tywaune Thomas).  The State of Ohio filed for leave to appeal this case on October 29, 2013 as a result of a juvenile delinquency sentencing in front of Judge Tracy Hunter on October 21, 2013.  The case was set for argument in the Court of Appeals on September 8th.

Thomas was in front of Judge Hunter in October 2013 for sentencing on a charge of Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs (Felony 3) involving heroin.  The Hamilton County Juvenile Court Probation Department recommended commitment to the secure facility of Department of Youth Services (DYS), and the State of Ohio concurred, as Thomas had 36 prior convictions and had previously been afforded every opportunity by the court for services and placement short of DYS.  Thomas had a history of running from unsecured placements and violating the Electronic Monitoring Unit (EMU).   When Judge Hunter refused to place Thomas at DYS she made orders regarding attending out-patient treatment, school and work.  She also placed the defendant on EMU.   Had Thomas been committed to DYS, he could have remained in a secure facility until age 21.  The State of Ohio disagreed with Judge Hunter’s decision not to send Thomas to DYS and appealed the case to the First District Court of Appeals.

On August 19th Thomas was involved in a shooting incident in the 500 block of Carplin Place in Avondale.  When Cincinnati Police responded, they found Antwon Ward dead at the scene and Tywaune Thomas injured.  Thomas died of his injuries on August 20th.

The police investigation determined that Thomas shot Ward before he (Thomas) was shot by someone else. 

Prosecutor Deters commented, “This is the unfortunate sort of scenario that we envisioned when we wanted Judge Hunter to commit Thomas to DYS.  He clearly needed the structured setting of DYS if he were to have any chance of changing his life for the better.  Had Thomas been at DYS, both he and Ward might still be alive today.

Sometimes commitment to the Department of Youth Services can effectively protect teenagers who are dealing in violence.  Judge Hunter has consistently said that she is doing this, “for the children.”  Well, now we have a dead one.”