JURY TRIALS RESUMING
Mohave County will conduct its first jury trial this week since suspending them in mid-March to protect staff and the public from the COVID-19 pandemic. Jury selection begins Tuesday for the two day trial of Sunday Kunkushi.
Most who enter any court facility in Mohave County will be required to wear face coverings except when speaking or testifying. Center For Disease Control social distancing and crowd size recommendations are also implemented.
Presiding Judge Chuck Gurtler has said that the county has been a national pioneer in use of teleconferencing to conduct Grand Jury procedings. And now some summoned as prospective jurors for possible selection can appear through use of ZOOM.
``To be approved for this, the juror must complete the mandatory pre-certification process,” said a news release issued from the Superior Court Clerk’s office. ``Prospective jurors must have a PC, laptop phone or tablet, an internet connection, speakers and a microphone, a webcam or HD webcam, a Zoom supported operating system, and a quiet place with no distractions.”
Cleaning protocols have been implemented to provide as safe an environment as possible as the county court system begins grinding through a backlog of trials that have piled up over the last 14 weeks.
``Rigorous cleaning is done between hearings and nightly,” the news release said. ``Those who are sick will not be allowed in the courthouse. In addition, when necessary, for social distancing other facilities may be used.”
Kunkushi, 45, is charged in a 2018 marijuana case. Officers reportedly seized about 44 pounds of pot from Kunkuski during a traffic stop about 45miles west of Kingman.