Photos and Story By Donna Carver
February 5, 2014
Christopher Filos appeared before Judge Howard Hall in the Morrow County Common Pleas court with his attorneys Gregory Peterson and Jerry Peer for a pretrial conference on January 23, 2014.
Filos, the former owner of HPM in Mt. Gilead, had been indicted by the Morrow County Grand Jury in January of 2012 for aggravated theft a felony of the third degree, failure to remit state income tax withheld a felony of the fifth degree and theft a felony of the fourth degree.
During the pre-trial conference proceedings, there were no impending motions.
A jury trial was initially scheduled for March 3, 2014. Defense council requested that the trial be continued due to discovery. Morrow County prosecutor Charles Howland indicated that the state was not opposed to the continuance. Peer remarked that prior to the PTC they met with Morrow County prosecutor Charles Howland and were able to review documents in the possession of the prosecutors office
The defense council also requested that the defendant, along with his attorneys, be permitted to go to the HPM building and walk through to determine if there are any additional records at that location that might be useful to them.
Judge Hall explained that there was an impending foreclosure case and he was uncertain what his authority was in the matter. County prosecutor Howland explained that currently the HPM facility is under control of the Common Pleas court and it was his opinion the Judge had the authority to determine permission for the defendant and council to tour the facility. Howland assured the court that the Mt. Gilead police Chief who has been monitoring the building for security would be notified that they would be entering the facility.
Judge Hall granted the request.
Hall explained that the defendant had the right to a speedy trial and that by continuing the case may infringe upon his speedy trial rights. He asked the defendant if he was willing to waive that right. Filos indicated that he understood his right and was willing to waive that right. The defendant signed a waiver of speedy trial and submitted it to the court.
Hall granted the continuance setting the next pre trial conference date for June 27, 2014 with a jury trial date of July 21, 2014.