The City of Canton, Ohio followed through with their criminal charges against William Bartlett today. After nearly two hours of motions and jury selection the trial was underway. OFCC was in the courtroom live blogging the events of the day on our website.
The Jury wasn't permitted to see the entire
traffic stop, which Ohioans For Concealed Carry leaked to the public in late July of this past summer here: Canton Failure To Notify Dash Camera Footage
What followed was a desperate attempt by the Prosecutor's office to obfuscate Bartlett's attempt to notify. In fact, at one point in the trial the prosecutor lowered the audio on the television playing the dash camera footage. After the portion of the stop where Bartlett states "I have a conceal..." she walked around the television and turned the volume back up.
After the prosecution rested their case the jury was excused. Defense Attorney Tim Bellew made a motion to dismiss, or a "Criminal Rule 29" motion for acquittal. The judge eventually ruled in favor of this motion which has been explained to us as a conclusion that the state didn't meet it's burden of proof - the defense didn't even need to put on a trial and the jury didn't need to consider anything, the Judge threw the concealed carry charges out. As we've said all along, this shouldn't have gone to trial to begin with.
Finally, the judge stated that there was a charge of stopping in the roadway. A plea of no contest was entered and Bartlett was found guilty. He is to pay court costs (for the non-jury portion of the trial) and a fee not to exceed $150.
Following is the news media coverage of this case by Fox 8 in Cleveland Ohio: