A local judge ordered the Rev. Raleigh Trammell to turn himself in Wednesday to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence for stealing taxpayer money intended for the poor, despite Trammell’s efforts to delay the sentence on grounds that he is seriously ill and has less than six months to live.
Trammell failed to surrender to local authorities by the court-ordered 7 p.m. deadline, which subjected him to arrest.
Judge Michael Tucker of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court ruled that Trammell, 76, of Dayton, turn himself in to the county jail after completing a kidney dialysis treatment. Tucker said he would entertain no more motions to delay Trammell’s sentence.
In court paperwork made publicly available Wednesday, Trammell’s attorney filed an unsuccessful motion seeking another prison delay while he appeals his conviction to the Ohio Supreme Court. In the motion, attorney Sandra Finucane of Columbus said Trammell is “on oxygen 24 hours a day” and “his kidneys have shut down, requiring him to undergo four hours of dialysis three times per week.”
Attached to the motion was a note from Trammell’s physician, Dr. Morris Brown of Dayton, saying Trammell is in “end-stage renal failure” and his “life expectancy is less than six months. He will continue to require frequent hospitalizations.”
Carley Ingram, appellate chief for the county prosecutor’s office, said, “He can get that care in the institution. He’s been out 13 months since his sentencing.”
Trammell was briefly imprisoned after a trial last year ended in Trammell’s conviction on 51 felony counts for stealing public funds from a program that was supposed to provide home-delivered meals to needy shut-ins. The program was run by two civil rights organizations headed by Trammell — the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.
Tucker freed Trammell in September 2012 pending an appeal. The appeals court on Friday ruled against Trammell, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jefferson Twp.
Prosecutors sought the indictment charging Trammell with grand theft, tampering with government records and forgery after a 2010 Dayton Daily News investigation uncovered the scheme.
Evidence at his trial showed Trammell was billing the county for meals that were supposedly delivered to people who were actually dead or already being fed in hospitals and nursing homes. Montgomery County reimbursed $38,000 to Trammell’s SCLC, which administered the program, for 7,000 meals that weren’t delivered between 2005 and early 2010. Trammell contends he wasn’t in direct supervision of the program and blamed the problems on subordinates.