Christian founded and owned the now-defunct Cafe Boulevard (later Boulevard Haus) for nearly 15 years in Dayton’s Oregon District, in space that now houses Lily’s Dayton. She also founded a second restaurant, Cena Brazilian Steakhouse, which was located in front of the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. She was convicted in May 2012 of five criminal counts after masterminding a scheme to hire others in 2009 to set her Dayton Mall restaurant on fire, and later trying to set it on fire herself; and also of staging a break-in at her Washington Twp. residence, all in order to collect insurance money.
In her request to be released from jail — filed last fall by Dayton attorney Karen Denise Bradley on Christian’s behalf — Christian, 52, said she had been diagnosed with chronic asthma and had been treated for the condition since 2014. She said her confinement in the Butler County Jail increases her likelihood of contracting COVID-19, which, due to her asthma, could lead to “severe injury or death,” Bradley wrote in her petition to U.S. District Court. Her incarceration and increased risk of disease and death means that her Fifth Amendment rights of due process are being violated, and she should be released immediately, according to Christian and her attorney.
Eva Christian in her Oregon District restaurant Cafe Boulevard in 2009. A U.S. immigration judge has issued an order that will result in former Dayton restaurant owner Eva Christian being deported, although Christian has filed an appeal to that order while she remains in custody in the Butler County Jail. File photo by Jim Witmer
Credit: for USA TODAY
Credit: for USA TODAY
But in a decision handed down March 12, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz rejected the request, ruling that Christian “has not established that she has an enhanced risk of death of severe illness from COVID-19.
“While she pleads that she has severe asthma,” Merz wrote, there was no evidence submitted to support the claim. In addition, Merz said in his ruling, Christian “has not established that being confined in the Butler County Jail has significantly increased her risk of contracting the disease.”
Messages left late last week with Bradley, who represented Christian in the motion to be released from jail, were not returned as of Monday morning, March 29.