Andrew Z files appealWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: This version updates the reason for Zepeda’s appeal, which is appealing more than just the 30-day jail sentence as originally reported.
Former Toledo morning radio show host Andrew Zepeda filed an appeal Jan. 15, asking the 6th District Court of Appeals to reverse the Oct. 26 decision of Wood County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry that Zepeda violated the terms of his intervention in lieu of conviction by participating in a celebrity charity boxing match where alcohol was served.
After found to be in violation, Zepeda was removed from the intervention in lieu of conviction program and found guilty of three felonies charges stemming from a 2010 break-in at his former Levis Commons pizzeria.
Mayberry sentenced Zepeda on Dec. 20 to 30 days at the Wood County Justice Center starting Jan. 21 and five years’ community control, including no bars or alcohol.
Zepeda was abruptly fired Dec. 26 by Cumulus Media along with most of his on-air crew. “Andrew Z in the Morning: The People’s Show” had been on Cumulus since July 2011, starting at 100.7 The Vibe and moving to Star 105 in March.
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.
Harvey said he does not believe participating in the boxing match was a violation of Zepeda’s intervention in lieu of conviction and he will ask the 6th District Court of Appeals will reinstate Zepeda into the supervision program. If the appeals court reverses lower court’s ruling, it would also clear Zepeda’s felony convictions, which stemmed from the violation.
Paul Dobson, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney, said his office stands behind the decision Mayberry made.
“The fact of the matter is we supported the petition [of violation] and filed the petition and we certainly believe the court made the right decision and we will argue that position in front of the court of appeals and obviously the court of appeals will make its own determination,” Dobson said.
While the appeals case is pending, Zepeda is also asking Mayberry stay the incarceration portion of his sentencing, which was to begin Jan. 21.
A date for the appeal has not been set.
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.
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 2011, talking to patrons outside the Fat Fish Blue/Funny Bone Comedy Club at Levis Commons in June 2011 and entering Fat Fish Blue/Funny Bone in July 2011.
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.