Harris seeks lower bond




One of the men charged with murder in the shooting death of Joe Gutierrez III returned to court Tuesday and requested a lower bond.

Ralph G. Harris III, 21, of Findlay, appeared for a pretrial hearing in Hancock County Common Pleas Court. He remains in the county jail on $1 million bond.

The high bond suggesting Harris is a flight risk is unnecessary, said his attorney, Drew Mihalik.

Harris has lived in Findlay since he was 14 years old and has a child in the region, Mihalik said.

Mihalik asked for a bond reduction, or that payment of 10 percent of the bond be permitted. Harris would reside at 131½ E. Foulke Ave. in Findlay if he leaves jail, the attorney said.

Assistant Prosecutor Alex Treece asked for the bond to stay in place. He said Harris has strong ties outside Findlay and is unemployed.

Clothing, cash, a handgun and drugs were found in a vehicle with Harris during his arrest, Treece said.

“Whether he was going out of state, out of the city or out of the country, he still was attempting to evade detection by the authorities,” Treece said.

Judge Joseph Niemeyer said he will decide at a later date.

Also, Harris’ motion to move his April 7 trial outside Hancock County will be settled during jury selection, Niemeyer said.

“If we can’t impanel a fair and impartial jury, the obvious remedy is we move it to a different county,” Niemeyer said.

Harris is scheduled for a March 20 suppression hearing to challenge shell casings that investigators found as evidence.

Mihalik argued the casings were discovered in a residential garage through an anonymous tip from an ex-girlfriend.

Gutierrez, 34, of Findlay, was shot multiple times and died within minutes on Nov. 8 in Findlay, according to a coroner’s report.

Findlay police have said Gutierrez was killed outside his vehicle at the intersection of East Foulke and Crystal avenues.

Harris’ co-defendant, Montre O. Robinson, 21, of Findlay, is scheduled for a May 12 jury trial on a murder charge.

Harris and Robinson have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Dunn: 419-427-8417
Send an E-mail to Ryan Dunn
Twitter: @CourierRyan


About the Author