The Fourth Ohio District Court of appeals has sided with an Ohio University student who says her parents' income should not play a role in her request for a public defender.
The court overturned a judge's ruling that found Kelly Kasler did not qualify because she is financially dependent on her parents, whose income is 100 thousand dollars a year. The court says the key point in such cases is not whether a defendant ought to be able to pay but whether she actually can pay. The Ohio Public Defender's Office argued Kasler's parents, who are refusing to pay for an attorney, have no legal obligation to support her. Kasler was arrested last year during the annual Halloween celebration in Athens.