Buckeye Bail Bonds appeals Harcha decision

By Nikki Blankenship - nblankenship@civitasmedia.com

Buckeye Bail Bonds, owned by bail bondsman Teresa Blankenship, has filed an appeal to a decision made in Judge Howard H. Harcha III’s courtroom on Friday morning.

This past spring, fugitive Thomas Galloway, 48, of McDermott, was sentenced to 12 years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) for felony drug charges including aggravated trafficking. Galloway had charges in both Scioto and Adams counties and was sentenced in both counties but never conveyed to jail. Now, Scioto County is demanding bail from Blankenship, who says she is not responsible.

On Dec. 22, Galloway posted a $5,000 bond on aggravated possession of drugs (a fifth degree felony) and a $25,000 bond on multiple charges of aggravated drug trafficking (a second degree felony) for two cases in Scioto County. On the same day, he also posted a $150,000 bond for charges in Adams County. He then plead guilty to his Scioto County charges on Feb. 8. Judge Harcha sentenced Galloway to 12 months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) for one count of aggravated possession of drugs and four years and 12 months in the ODRC for three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs and possessing criminal tools.

Harcha then issued a stay of execution of Galloway’s sentence in order to allow him time to deal with his charges in Adams County. A copy of the Adams County docket shows that on April 7, Galloway plead guilty to aggravated possession of drugs and was sentenced on the same day to six years to run consecutive with his time in Scioto County for a total of 12 years. He was furthered ordered to remain on house arrest until April 10 when Galloway was to return to the Scioto County Sheriff to be transported to prison.

This is when officials lost track of Galloway, of failed to appear on April 10. On April 11, Harcha ordered a bench warrant for Galloway’s arrest.

The following day, Harcha issued a forfeiture of bail on both Galloway cases, ordering the Buckeye Bail Bonds and Galloway to appear June 14 to show just cause as to way judgment should not be entered for the amounts of $5,000 and $25,000 for a total of $30,000.

Attorney for Buckeye Bail Bonds Gene Meadows requested the hearing be rescheduled, responding with a motion to set aside forfeiture on June 28. The motion outlines the timeline of the Galloway cases.

It further states, “On or about February 9, 2017 the Scioto County Clerk of Courts filed and issued a warrant commanding the Scioto County Sheriff to convey the Defendent (Galloway) to ODRC. This warrant has not been executed at the time of the filing of this motion.”

It further argues that forfeiture of bail shall be set aside based upon revised code 2949.05 and Criminal Rule 46.

Ohio revised code 2949.05 deals with execution of sentence and reads, “If no appeal is filed, if leave to file an appeal or certification of a case is denied, if the judgment of the trial court is affirmed on appeal, or if post-conviction relief under section 2953.21 of the Revised Code is denied, the trial court or magistrate shall carry into execution the sentence or judgment which had been pronounced against the defendant.”

The motion to set aside states, “Pursuant to RC 2949.05 and Criminal Rule 46, the trial court was unable to grant a stay of execution for the Defendant. Therefore, the forfeiture must be set aside and Buckeye Bail Bonds released from the bond.”

Rule 46 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure remains a focus of the motion, which continues by stating, “Criminal Rule 46(H) provides that the bond continues until a verdict is rendered or the court accepts a guilty plea. The trial court may continue bond pending sentencing or disposition of the case upon review. In the instant case, the Defendant was sentenced and did not file a notice of appeal for review of the case. Therefore, the bond terminated, by law, upon the sentencing of the Defendant.”

The motion further cites precedent by referencing numerous Supreme Court cases.

Harcha filed a judgment entry Friday against Buckeye Bail Bonds.

The judgment reads, “On June 27, 2017 the forfeiture proceeding was held and the Court finds the bondsman has failed to produce the defendant for execution of his sentence. It is ordered that judgment is entered against Buckeye Bail Bonds..”

Buckeye Bail Bonds has filed an appeal.

By Nikki Blankenship


Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.