PORTSMOUTH — According to court records, Portsmouth attorney and former Portsmouth Councilman Michael Mearan is representing himself in court.
Mearan, who was indicted in October, on 18 counts including human trafficking, racketeering and compelling and promoting prostitution, has started to file court documents and requests on behalf of himself. The charges stem from alleged criminal activity in southern Ohio that occurred from 2003 to 2018 and involved six victims.
“It’s been said in the past that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told The Enquirer Wednesday. “A trial, in this case, will afford a real-world test of that old saying.”
Mearan appeared in court on Oct. 26 with attorney Richard Nash, who represented Mearan for his arraignment. Mearan pleaded not guilty to 18 charges related to human trafficking and a bond was set for $300,000. On Oct. 28, Mearan posted bail through the Jim Peach Bail Bond Services.
A case document filed on Nov. 18 states Mearan requested a Notice of Appearance and court records filed from that date show Mearan as his own counsel. Nash remains as a co-counsel on court documents, but it is unclear if he will stay on the case.
During Mearan’s arraignment, State Prosecutor Jennifer Rausch questioned if Nash would continue being Mearan’s counsel in the case. Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove asked Nash if he was staying on as Mearan’s attorney, and stated he was.
“Your honor, it is my intent,” Nash told Cosgrove. “The state of Ohio, though, alleges that because of our– the size of our community that there may be a conflict with some witness or someone out there. I’m waiting on them to let me know.”
According to the Enquirer, both Mearan and Nash declined to comment on the matter.
Mearan faces more than 70 years in prison if convicted.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at email@example.com.
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