Andrew Z convicted of felonies after violating probationWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Less than four months shy of the end of his two-year intervention in lieu of conviction period, Toledo radio host Andrew Zepeda was found guilty Oct. 26 of three felony charges stemming from a break-in at his former pizzeria.
Judge Alan Mayberry of the Wood County Court of Common Pleas in Bowling Green found Zepeda violated the terms of his intervention, which prohibited him from entering establishments where alcohol was served or associating with people consuming alcoholic beverages.
On Sept. 13, Zepeda participated in a celebrity boxing match held at the International Boxing Club (IBC) in Oregon. The Toledo Celebrity Fight Night event was put on by the Advertising Club of Toledo to benefit the youth boxing program. The IBC does not usually serve alcohol, but alcohol was served during the special event, said Zepeda’s attorney, Beau Harvey.
“Andrew participated as a boxer, but wasn’t there as a spectator, as a person who was there to watch the event,” Harvey said. “He was at the boxing event for the sole purpose of helping the International Boxing Club raise funds for youth programs.
“The judge didn’t agree with that assessment,” Harvey said. “He said he was around alcohol, even though there was no evidence that he did anything but what he said he did, which was go into the boxing ring, box and leave.”
The petition of violation was filed by the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office on Sept. 19.
Zepeda will be sentenced Dec. 20.
At the sentencing, the judge will have all the options available at Zepeda’s original sentencing, including incarceration, said Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson.
Harvey said he and Zepeda will decide how to proceed after the sentencing.
“I respect the court, but anticipate once they give their sentencing, we will reassess the situation and determine if we want to file an appeal,” Harvey said.
It was Zepeda’s second violation. In July 2011, Mayberry ruled Zepeda violated the terms of his intervention by being filmed drinking what appeared to be champagne in a music video for a local artist at Quimby’s at the Park in Toledo in May, talking to patrons outside the Fat Fish Blue/Funny Bone Comedy Club at Levis Commons in June and entering Fat Fish Blue/Funny Bone in July.
At the time, Mayberry scolded Zepeda for “thumbing his nose” at the court system with his behavior, but allowed Zepeda to continue with the intervention program. He warned Zepeda that another violation would result in a conviction.
In November 2010, Zepeda was charged with theft, complicity to breaking and entering, and failure to remit sales tax in connection with an October break-in at his business, Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria at Levis Commons.
On Feb. 4, 2011, Zepeda pleaded guilty to the three felony charges and entered an intervention program for alcohol abuse, which he completed in May 2011. The charges would have been cleared from his record upon successfully completing his two-year supervision period. However, violating any conditions meant he would face the charges again.
Other stipulations of Zepeda’s supervision include that he undergo random drug and alcohol testing, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, obtain lawful employment and have no contact with David Wright or his uncle Paul Zepeda, the two others charged in connection with the break-in.
Zepeda’s morning show, “Andrew Z in the Morning: The People’s Show,” has been on Cumulus since July 2011, starting at 100.7 The Vibe and moving to Star 105 in March.
Zepeda was formerly the host of one of the region’s top-rated morning shows, “Andrew Z in the Morning” on Clear Channel’s 92.5 KISS FM, but his contract was not renewed in December 2010.