OU Student Wins Case For Public Defender

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An appeals court has sided with an Ohio University student who says her parents' income shouldn't play a role in her request for a public defender.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals overturned a judge's ruling that found student Kelly Kasler didn't qualify for legal aid because she is financially dependent on her parents, whose income is about $100,000.

The appeals court determined that the key point in such cases is not whether a defendant ought to be able to pay but whether she actually can.

The Ohio Public Defender's Office argued that Kasler's parents, who are refusing to pay for an attorney, have no legal obligation to support her.