CRIMINAL CASE: Ohio v. Baumgartner, No. CR-05-470184-A (Ohio C.P. Ct., Cuyahoga County indictment Aug. 30, 2005)
Ohio v. DuBois, No. CR-05-470184-B (Ohio C.P. Ct., Cuyahoga County indictment Aug. 30, 2005)
Status: Baumgartner is appealing her conviction; Charges against DuBois dismissed pursuant to plea bargain.

Elsebeth Baumgartner of Oak Harbor, Ohio and Bryan DuBois of Sandusky, Ohio allegedly used their site to libel and harass retired Cuyahoga County Judge Richard Markus, who had presided over a libel lawsuit against Baumgartner that ended with a $175,000 verdict against Baumgartner.

During the trial in this case, on criminal charges of intimidation and harassment for the web site postings and other activities, Baumgartner moved to have trial judge Shirley Strickland Saffold removed from the case. Although Saffold refused to recuse herself, Baumgartner continued to argue for recusal. Saffold eventually ordered her jailed for contempt. Baumgartner then presented a note from her doctor that she was not competent to stand trial, and Saffold ordered her admitted to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

In March 2006 DuBois pleaded guilty to separate charges against him in Ottowa County. As part of the plea bargain, the Cuyahoga County charges were dismissed and DuBois agreed to testify against Baumgartner in her trial.

On June 1, 2006, Baumgartner was again found in contempt and jailed; she was released on Oct. 5. On Oct. 31, 2006, Baumgartner was found guilty of 27 counts of contempt of court, and on Nov. 15 she was found guilty of 15 felony counts of intimidation and retaliation. On Nov. 28, 2006, Baumgartner was fined $2,700 and sentenced to 120 days in jail for the contempt counts, which she is appealing; on Dec. 18, 2006, she was sentenced to eight years in prison for the intimidation and retaliation counts, with the sentence stayed pending appeal. But her bond was revoked in 2008, after Baumgartner filed yet another lawsuit in violation of the conditions of her appeal bond. Baumgartner appealed the bond revocation, but the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed (Baumgartner v. Duffey, 2009-Ohio-1218, 2009 WL 792230 (slip opinion)).

Links and Court Documents: (video) (audio)

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