For the first time since March, jury trials are starting on a limited basis in the 43rd Prosecutorial District.
The first trials started Monday, Oct. 26 in Haywood County. They are restricted to one-week sessions.
Precautions include COVID-19 screening for jurors, court personnel, attorneys and witnesses. Face masks are required, while there is limited seating for spectators and exhibits will be presented electronically.
"Folks will be spaced an appropriate amount apart, even being selected for a jury," says Assistant District Attorney Jason Arnold. "And then again, in the jury process and the trial is ongoing, they will still be adequately spaced."
Jackson and Clay counties are scheduled to hold jury trials for one week each, beginning Nov. 2.
Haywood County has a second jury trial session the week beginning Nov. 9.
Macon, Swain, and Graham counties start jury trials in the new year.
Judges retain discretion to suspend jury trials depending on the status of the pandemic.