THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
From his jail cell, a Toledo motorist convicted of striking and killing a woman as she was walking to the Hollywood Casino asked a Lucas County judge if he could “be home” while he appealed his conviction.
Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart presided over the bench trial of Michael Yates in September, found him guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, and sentenced him Nov. 5 to five years in prison.
A day later, at the request of Yates’ defense attorney, Jon Richardson, the judge set an appeal bond of $75,000 — a bond Yates has been unable to post.
While he sought a lower bond on Monday, Judge Duhart revoked it altogether.
“I don’t want to get in the practice of just giving somebody a get out of jail card,” the judge said.
Yates, 42, of 1128 Ironwood Ave. had a higher-than-prescribed level of a prescription painkiller in his system and was driving recklessly and without a valid driver’s license on July 21, 2012, when he struck and killed Stefanie Arnold, 27, of Painesville, Ohio, and struck and injured Chelsea Skoch, 24, of Madison, Ohio, as they were walking on the sidewalk along Miami Street from a hotel to the casino.
Yates, who was brought back to Lucas County from prison for Monday’s hearing, told the court in a letter received Nov. 15 that his mother was very ill and that he had children at home with medical problems.
Judge Duhart said because Yates was unable to post the $75,000 bond, Mr. Richardson could file a new motion to set an appeal bond if Yates obtained the resources in the future. He also suggested it might be a better option to take the request to the appeals court where the case currently is.
“Mr. Yates, this court has no intention of modifying or reducing down the bond that was set,” the judge said. “This court went to great length to review the record and consider all the elements necessary to help to come to what I felt was a just and reasonable bond.”
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