Covid Causes Delays for Southeast Colorado Jury Trials

(La Junta, CO) -- If all goes well, by the end of the month, jury trials in the 16th judicial district of Bent, Otero and Crowley counties could be back on. Earlier this month they were suspended by order from Chief judge Mark MacDonnell of the 16th Judicial district court. On the books for February, and planned, so far, is the jury trial of Edward Aragon who is accused of murdering his girlfriend in Rocky Ford in 2015. The docket shows it is expected to last the entire month of February.




Meanwhile, according to the Pueblo Chieftain, the 10th District has put a hold on their jury trials until at least February 11th. Chief Judge Deborah Eyler stated the rising Covid cases as the reason to continue to trials.


And just earlier this week, a jury trial set to happen in Eads, Colorado was continued to March. According to the Kiowa County Docket, the trial of former deputy Quinten Stump is now scheduled for March. The Kiowa County Independent is reporting that a statement the courts provided to them listed Covid concerns for the delay. The Kiowa County courts home page says that all trials will be in person unless otherwise ordered by the Judge. The page still shows options for Virtual court through the WebEx platform.


Our neighbors to the North in the 18th Judicial District are also taking precautions. When you hand on the home page for Lincoln County Court, you see this image:

The court page states:

as a result of public health precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many matters are being held by remote means (either via WebEx or phone). Please see the information below for instructions on how to contact the court.



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This is the administrative order that was published earlier in January concerning the delays for Bent, Crowley and Otero.




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