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Judge Tate makes jury trial announcement

Pawhuska Journal-Capital
Judge Stuart Tate

Osage County Associate District Judge Stuart Tate made the following announcement Friday, Aug. 21, regarding a mini-term of district court set to begin Monday, Aug. 24, at the county fairgrounds:

“The first scheduled jury trials in Osage County since the COVID-19 closures are set to resume next week. Several felony criminal trials are scheduled beginning August 24, 2020 for cases where the defendant remains in custody. These trials would not be possible without the cooperative efforts of Osage County Commissioner Randy Jones, Court Clerk Jennifer Burd and her staff, Sheriff Eddie Virden’s courthouse security and jail administration, District Attorney Mike Fisher’s prosecutors, defense counsel and court bailiffs. We are very fortunate in Osage County to have the cooperation and goodwill of our elected officials which enables us to come together and adapt to these challenging times in order to keep our judicial system operational and protect the rights of all litigants.

“In keeping with the best guidance to insure the safety of our jurors, witnesses, litigants and staff, we have made every effort to create an environment that is as safe as possible at the Osage County fairgrounds which Commissioner Jones graciously made available to us. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed to protect everyone involved. We will monitor the situation continuously and make adjustments as necessary.

“Court Clerk Jennifer Burd has mobilized her resources in order to facilitate juror check in and selection in such a way that we will minimize contact and the amount of time required to process the jury pool as a whole. Her efforts are indispensable to the process. The court bailiffs are making every effort to assist jurors and make them as comfortable and safe as possible during trials.

“I truly appreciate all of the time and effort of everyone involved and am confident that we have created an environment where the constitutional and procedural protections we all depend and rely on for our judicial system to flourish in these changing times.”