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Nacogdoches County jury trials scheduled to resume

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 2:44 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Jury trials in Nacogdoches are scheduled to resume in August as more than 800 jury summons were mailed out with more to follow.

Two district court judges have their criminal trials selected.

Judge Ed Klein, 420th District Court read from his list of upcoming cases including burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a felony, retaliation and aggravated assault.

Judge Jeff Davis, 450th District Court said, “The first case will be a drug related matter that was originally set for trial almost a year and a half ago.”

A long time to wait for all parties to resolve a legal case.

“It does create difficulties in moving dockets. And it does add to a backlog of a court,” said Davis.

“The lawyers, in general, are all ready to get back to work and get back to jury trials,” said Judge Jack Sinz, county court at law.

Jury selection will be a two-day process. First, ineligible individuals or those with a valid reason not to serve will be dismissed during morning and afternoon sessions.

“By the second day when we start the actual jury selection that we’ll have a courtroom full of people,” said Klein.

COVID-19 screening will occur. No one will be asked if they’ve been vaccinated. Masks will be optional. The jury rooms and boxes will be used.

Judge Sinz said they prefer the larger annex.

“We want to address people’s concerns. A lot of people will not want to be elbow to elbow with a bunch of people,” said Sinz whose courtroom is smaller than the others.

Concern remains. A vaccination rate lower than the state average, rising cases region wide, and the fear potential jurors will be no-shows. So, Judge Klein emphasizes a message.

“We need citizens to participate. Otherwise, our justice system won’t function,” said Sinz.

The first Nacogdoches County jury selection is scheduled for August 9. Others are set for August 18 and August 23.

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