Wrong court, judge decides on appeal

LISBON — A Warren inmate that has requested a hearing in this county will not get that chance.

On Friday, Common Pleas Judge Scott Washam dismissed the case on the basis that the hearing must be held in the county where the man is being held.

Gregory L. Bradley Jr., 37, filed a writ of habeas corpus in court here in late March. He is claiming he is being kept illegally at the Warren Correctional Institution and requested a hearing here.

He is serving nine years for drug-related crimes in this county in 2011.

He claimed in the writ that he didn’t get a fair trial and that an undercover drug operation at his home in 2009 that was carried out by the county drug task force was done illegally, since there was no search warrant. He also claimed the task force illegally took items that were later used as evidence.

According to court documents, task force agents performed three undercover drug buys at his home on state Route 517 south of Columbiana around October of 2009.

Bradley was indicted in 2010 on charges of trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in drugs and being in possession of digital scales and $40 in currently used for the drug offense. He was sentenced for the crimes following a three-day trial.

The nine-year sentence was imposed for three counts of crack cocaine trafficking in the vicinity of a juvenile, third-degree felonies, and one count of trafficking in drugs, being percocet, in the vicinity of a juvenile, a fifth-degree felony, and one count of cocaine possession, a fifth-degree felony.

Bradley appealed the sentence in 2013, but the Seventh District Court of Appeals upheld the conviction.

On Friday, Washam cited Ohio Revised Code 2725.03 for the basis of the dismissal of Bradley’s case. According to the law, no court or judge other than the courts or judges of a county in which the inmate is being held has jurisdiction to issue or determine a writ of habeas corpus for his production or discharge.

“Any writ issued by a court or judge of another county to an officer or person in charge at the state institution to compel the production or discharge of an inmate thereof is void,” the law states.