The evidentiary portion of the trial of Bowling Green attorney Andrew R. Schuman concluded on Thursday
with the final witness for the prosecution and the defendant taking the stand on his own behalf.
Testimony began with the state’s final witness, Hunter Brown, taking the stand. Brown works as a
prosecuting attorney with the City of Bowling Green. He had previously said that Schuman approached him
about filing misdemeanor charges and not felony charges.
The theory behind the request is that Schuman had already been indicted with felony charges and if he
reached some kind of agreement on the misdemeanor ones, it could trigger the “double jeopardy” clause.
That would make it impossible for the defendant to stand trial on the felony counts.
Brown denied Schuman’s request and later realized such a request should be reported, which he did.
The conversation had taken place in Brown’s office and Schuman, when on the stand Thursday, did not deny
making the request.
Schuman’s attorney, Richard Kerger, asked for Brown’s opinion of Schuman’s role as an attorney.
“He thinks outside the box,” Brown said.
He later added that Schuman is “well-versed in traffic law.”
Both Brown and Schuman agreed that Schuman left Brown’s office with no further discussion on the request.
This conversation was the basis for the attempted obstructing justice charge in one of the three cases
being tried against Schuman in Wood County Common Pleas Court.
In one of the other cases Schuman was charged with tampering, for damaging a fire hydrant.
On Thursday Kerger said that Schuman did strike the hydrant. However, he asked — and Schuman testified —
that Schuman did not believe he had caused any damage to the hydrant. With that in mind, Schuman said he
did not report the collision to police.
Schuman testified that he drove by that hydrant as many as 50 times and it did not appear to be damaged
by the collision. Believing there was no damage to property, Schuman thought that he was free to leave
the scene and not obligated to report anything.
The other case involves nine counts, many of which were related to a dispute regarding billing in a case
where Schuman served as the guardian ad litem in Hancock County.
After suing for payment, seeking and being granted garnishment of wages, and receiving payment, it was
determined that Schuman had overcharged the parties and had been overpaid. He issued three separate
checks to repay that.
The tampering charges in this case revolve around some of the bills and documentation associated with
that case and the tampering charges. Schuman said on the stand that some of the information had been
altered, including some information from the records redacted.
These matters had been addressed, at least in part, in the disciplinary process which previously resulted
in Schuman’s six-month suspension from practicing law.
Because of the legal matters involved and the various complexities of this case, the two attorneys are
being granted the opportunity to make their final statements in writing to the presiding judge, Peter
Handwork, a retired former district court of appeals judge.
Handwork granted two weeks for the prosecution to submit written closing remarks. The defense attorney
was given one week from receipt of the prosecutor’s remark to provide his answers. The prosecution will
then have another three days to rebut any of the defense remarks..
It will be likely be a month or more before Handwork makes his decisions and determine Schuman’s
innocence or guilt in the 11 counts of the three cases.