YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Attorneys for an East Liverpool man have asked a federal judge to reconsider granting him bond while he awaits trial on a federal weapons charge.
In a motion filed Wednesday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio, attorneys for Lonnie Barker, 40, say that there was no testimony in his previous detention hearing that showed he was a danger to the community or a flight risk.
Barker was indicted June 15 by a federal grand jury on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment said that Barker, who had previously been convicted of assault in February 2003 in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, had 11 weapons in his home when police searched it during an investigation in May by the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office after he was charged with aggravated burglary for a May 9 incident at the home of his sister in law.
Inside the home, the indictment said investigators found four semiautomatic pistols, three shotguns and four semiautomatic rifles in a safe.
A Columbiana County grand jury indicted Barker July 12 for the aggravated burglary charge.
Federal public defenders Edward Bryan and Lori Riga told U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster in their motion that during Barker’s June 27 detention hearing, federal prosecutors said the case did not require a presumption that Barker had to be detained pending his federal trial.
Additionally, the motion said, Barker had been free on $25,000 bond in his state case following his arrest for 30 days and had violated no terms of his bond. He has lived in East Liverpool and had proof that he could gain employment, the motion said.
Nevertheless, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Greenburg denied Barker bond, saying that Barker is a danger to the community, a flight risk, and there is a good chance he will be convicted of the federal charge, the motion said.
That motion should be overturned because no evidence was presented at his detention hearing that he was a flight risk or at risk of not appearing for future court appearances.
Additionally, Barker was recently given permission to be free for 10 hours to attend the funeral of a relative and he obeyed all terms of his release and returned to detention on his own when he was required to, the release said.
Prosecutors have yet to file a response. Barker’s attorneys are requesting a hearing.