Rodney Curtis Denied Appellate Bond in Drug Conviction

Rodney L. Curtis decided to withdraw his motion for a new trial Friday, but he still wants to get out of jail pending the appeal of his conviction on drug-related charges.

Curtis was convicted in January of three counts of trafficking in drugs and two counts of possession of drugs in Belmont County Common Pleas Court. He was sentenced Feb. 8 by Judge Frank Fregiato to serve six months in the Belmont County Jail near St. Clairsville and six months in the East Ohio Correction Center in Wintersville.

Appearing Friday before Fregiato, Curtis and his lawyer, Aaron Miller, already had withdrawn the retrial motion. Fregiato denied a separate motion for an appellate bond, which is a bond given to someone who is awaiting a decision on an appeal of a conviction.

“The trial court has the authority to set bail while a person’s appeal is pending. If the trial court denies an appellate bond, then the court of appeals makes a decision as to whether or not that person should get bond,” Miller said following the hearing. “The next thing I have to do is file a motion with the appellate court because of Judge Fregiato’s ruling today to see if they will set bond for Dr. Curtis.”

Fregiato said the necessary factors needed for an appellate bond had not been met in Curtis’ case.

“The establishment of a bond must be analyzed. I believe the factors do not justify release on bond,” Fregiato said.

Curtis, 64, is a former urologist from St. Clairsville. During his trial, he was found guilty of conducting drug transactions involving Adderall and Suboxone with a confidential informant who was recording the interactions last April. The informant was a former employee of Curtis, who previously was involved in a romantic relationship with the doctor. She became an informant while being investigated for writing false prescriptions on a pad belonging to Curtis.

A police search of Curtis’ residence yielded Adderall and Suboxone. He was convicted of four felonies and one misdemeanor.

Staff Writer Robert DeFrank contributed to this report.