Miami County judge sets $750K bond for Cincy lawyer

TROY — A Miami County judge Monday set bail at $750,000 for Cincinnati lawyer Lisa Wells after her arrest late last week on a warrant issued when she failed to appear for a probation violation hearing.

Wells, 41, of West Chester, was arraigned Monday on a series of alleged violations of a Common Pleas Court in lieu of conviction program, including treatment, approved following her 2016 arrest in the county by the state patrol on drug charges.

Judge Jeannine Pratt noted Wells’ failure to appear in court on more than one occasion before setting the bail. “This is not just an addiction problem,” Pratt said, adding Wells had ignored court orders.

Pratt on Thursday denied a motion by Wells’ lawyers to recall the Sept. 5 warrant and schedule a court hearing.

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Wells’ lawyers Jon J. Saia of Columbus and Jeff Slyman of Vandalia on Friday then asked for her immediate release from incarceration, claiming the Miami County court no longer had jurisdiction in the case.

A not guilty plea on the probation violation allegations was entered by Pratt for Wells during Monday’s hearing. A hearing on the allegations was scheduled for Nov. 7.

The lawyers asked for her release on a recognizance or reasonable bond. Pratt set the bail at $750,000 cash or surety and ordered Wells’ participation in a house monitoring program should she post bail.

Saia filed a motion for warrant recall Oct. 2 asking Pratt to set aside the Sept. 5 warrant against Wells.

Saia said Wells did not appear because she had been hospitalized for treatment in the Cleveland area.

In the Oct. 2 motion, he noted Wells was being released from the hospital with an outpatient care program requiring strict compliance. He asked Pratt to recall the warrant for Wells’ arrest, reinstate her earlier bond and schedule a hearing at the court’s earliest convenience.

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Pratt wrote in a three-sentence decision Thursday she denied the request after considering the motion and facts of the case.

Wells was approved two years ago for participation in a court in lieu of conviction (ILC) program on the drug charges and had received a six-month extension of the program on Aug. 27. At the end of that day’s hearing, she was ordered to undergo a drug screen, failed and was jailed with a three-day sanction and then released.

The Sept. 5 hearing was scheduled on allegations Wells had used cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone. Wells also faced revocation of the ILC agreement for allegedly not completing program conditions.

Wells failed to appear for the Sept 5 hearing, so Pratt ordered the warrant.

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Wells was charged by state troopers following a Jan. 25, 2016, stop during which a trooper reported seeing pills on the front seat and assorted pills in her purse during a search. She was indicted on four felony counts of possession of drugs identified as amphetamines and oxycodone.

Wells pleaded guilty in 2017 to the four felony counts and one misdemeanor of operating a vehicle while under the influence. The pleas on the drug charges were being held in abeyance while Wells participated in the treatment required as part of the ILC program.

Pratt told Wells in 2017 she could be sentenced to 12 months in prison on each of the four felony charges if she violated in in lieu of conviction program terms.

Wells served as a guest and legal analyst on WLW radio.

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