On Friday, June 7, 2024, Joseph A. Hereford filed a writ of habeas corpus against Judge Jeannine Pratt of the Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Hereford had been arrested in March 2024 on charges of aggravated robbery and robbery. He claims the police violated his constitutional rights during his arrest and questioning. Hereford was displeased with his initial public defender, who he said rushed him through his preliminary hearing. He fired that attorney and later appointed Michael Brush as his court-appointed attorney.

However, Hereford grew frustrated with Brush as well. In court filings and a letter to Judge Pratt, Hereford alleges Brush failed to adequately communicate with him or share evidence. During one hearing, Hereford says Brush was unable to pull up documents on his computer and spent time speaking with the prosecutor instead of advocating for his client. The two later argued about whose side Brush was truly representing.

Hereford’s case has been ongoing for over five months without resolution. His speedy trial rights expiration date was continued further into the future. He claims key dates like his pre-trial hearing have still not occurred.

In his writ of habeas corpus, Hereford asks a higher court to examine the proceedings in his case so far and ensure his constitutional rights are being upheld. He wants a new, experienced attorney appointed who will properly defend him. In his letter to Judge Pratt, Hereford questions whether the justice system can still be trusted, noting his concerns about apparent bias.

Judge Jeannine Pratt has yet to issue a response or ruling on Hereford’s filings. As his case remains pending in her court, Hereford is seeking the intervention of a higher judicial authority to look into his claims of inadequate representation and constitutional violations in his criminal proceedings so far.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.