In a county where a jury trial used to come around every few years or so, Floyd County Circuit Court heads into a two-day one on this Monday morning to consider the case of Sandro Bermuba Gaston, an illegal Mexican alien facing multiple charges, including possession of a gun, drug possession with the intent fo manufacture.
This Monday is also the start of traffic-delaying work on the long-planned pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection of Main and Locust Streets at Floyd’s only traffic light, which could cause problems for jurors and others at the trial.
This most likely will not be the only jury trial in Circuit Court this year. From one point of view, putting the decision of guilt or innocence in the hands of a jury seems dangerous. Most jury trials usually being guilty verdicts and also strong sentence recommendations from those citizens who make the decision.
A 100+ sentence for possession of child pornography and marijuana came out of a jury trial last year against the self-professed “mountain man” who loved above Goose Creek Run.
But another jury in 2009 found former animal control officer Garland Belcheer not guilty of manslaughter after he shot at a wayward cow but a bullet struck and killed a neighbor.
Going before a jury can be a lottery. It also can take longer than a bench trial because of times when the jury is sent back to their holding room while details of an objection by the defense or prosecution are debated.
Two days on the hard benches of the Circuit Courtroom, not something an old butt can take without a lot of pain, cramps and numb legs.
See you on the other side.