Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office Objects to the Release of Chaz Bunch

The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office, through Assistant Chief Ralph M. Rivera, filed
an objection with the Ohio Parole Board regarding the upcoming parole hearing of Chaz Bunch
scheduled for November 2021.

Defendant Chaz Bunch was convicted in the horrific robbery, kidnapping, and repeated
rape of a 22-year-old female Youngstown State University student, shortly after she arrived to
work the midnight shift at a group home for mentally-handicapped women in August 2001. After
vacating his earlier sentence, on September 6, 2019, the trial court re-sentenced Defendant Bunch
to a 49-year stated prison term, and classified him as a Sexual Predator.

Throughout the years, Defendant Bunch has not shown any remorse for his crimes.
Defendant Bunch continues to claim that he is innocent of the charges despite the overwhelming
evidence to the contrary. In response to Defendant Bunch’s claim of innocence, the victim never
wavered in her identification, stating: “So he claims his innocence, but I assure you he is not
innocent.” (Re-Sentencing Hearing, September 6, 2019, before the Honorable Maureen A.
Sweeney, at 22.) “He sits here today claiming his innocence * * * I don’t know what bothers or
haunts me more, that Chaz is claiming his innocence or the fact that people believe him. I am 100-
percent sure that if people who signed the petition to Free Chaz Bunch knew the truth and the facts
that occurred on August 21, 2001, they would have never signed that petition, because, Your
Honor, the facts and the truth that occurred that night over 18 years ago is still hard for me to talk
about.” (Re-Sentencing Hearing, September 6, 2019, before the Honorable Maureen A. Sweeney,
at 15-1T6.)

The victim further summarized the pain that Defendant Bunch and his co-defendant
Brandon Moore’s actions caused her; the dreams that she once had, “[a]nd then in the blink of a
single hour, it was all taken away from [her].” (Re-Sentencing Hearing, September 6, 2019, before
the Honorable Maureen A. Sweeney, at 14.) And it was Bunch that wanted to kill the victim:
“Chaz Bunch wanted me dead, and by the grace of God in the final moments of the scariest, chaotic
night of my life, Jamar Callier and Brandon Moore stopped him from pulling the trigger. Chaz’s
gun was actually in my mouth when Jamar pushed him away.” (Re-Sentencing Hearing, September
6, 2019, before the Honorable Maureen A. Sweeney, at 15.)

Because Defendant was 16 years old when he committed these heinous offenses, he is now
eligible for parole pursuant to R.C. 2967.132. The Supreme Court of Ohio, however, recognized
that the law “does not foreclose the possibility that a defendant who commits a heinous crime as a
youth will indeed spend his entire remaining lifetime in prison; Graham [v. Florida] does not
guarantee an eventual release.” State v. Moore, 149 Ohio St.3d 557, 567-568, 2016 Ohio 8288,
76 N.E.3d 1127.

For all those reasons, the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office respectfully objected to
the release of Defendant Chaz Bunch, Inmate No. A434863, because the heinous facts of this case
demonstrates that there does not exist “reasonable ground to believe that * * * paroling the prisoner
would further the interests of justice and be consistent with the welfare and security of society.”
R.C. 2967.03.

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