Planning on ignoring a district court jury summons?
Doing so could find you winning a trip to the courthouse in the back of a Navarro County Deputy Sheriffs’ patrol car, complete with a stop at the county jail.
It’s a problem that isn’t new, but it isn’t getting any better. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse, according to District Judge James Lagomarsino.
Lagomarsino said a jury summons sent out to 300 potential jurors this week for a sexual assault trial found only 65 people answering the call — far short of the number required to seat a panel of 12 jurors and an alternate after attorney strikes and excuses for service.
“It’s a problem we’ve had for a long time,” Lagomarsino said.
The judge said that generally around 50 to 70 jury summons sent out are returned by the post office for various reasons — obviously, he says, those folks have an excuse for not showing.
“The individuals that don’t show up where you don’t get a (postal) return it’s hard to know if they forgot about it, or got it and said ‘I’m not going up there’ ... it’s so hard to know.”
So what the judge has done is prepare for the next jury call set for Nov. 13 is reach out to Sheriff Les Cotten for help. The sheriff is ready to do so.
Lagomarsino said he’ll consider sending deputies to pick up prospective jurors should not enough of them show up for the summons.
“That’s one of the solutions,” Lagomarsino said. “It’s kind of an extreme measure, but at what point do you just sit there and say ‘Well, we can’t have a trail again because not enough people showed up.’”
Cotten had not seen Lagomarsino’s letter when the Daily Sun sought comment from him about the possibility of pressing deputies into service. But he’s on board with the idea.
“I can sure do it,” Cotten said. “I’ve been trying to get them to do it for two or three years.”
Cotten said El Paso County had adopted a similar stance on no-shows for jury duty by sending deputies to pick them up. He said Dallas County was considering it as well.
“If they didn’t have a valid excuse for not showing up for jury duty, they spend 24 hours in jail plus a fine,” Cotten said.
Will it work?
“It will get their attention,” Cotten said. “It’s kinda like voting and taxes — it’s part of the free system.”
Lagomarsino said he hasn’t decided for sure if he’ll have deputies go pick up no-shows, but he’s not ruling it out, either.
“I’ll have enough deputies to go pick them up in one day and have them in court,” Cotten said. “They’ll get a free ride in the sheriff’s car.
“But, they’ll have to walk home.”
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Deputies may be picking up jurors for no-show
Planning on ignoring a district court jury summons?
‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace
It’s the big musical, the one that makes me think of ‘cast of thousands,’ or in our case, dozens at least, and it’s here only for a few short days. ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ is Irving Berlin’s candy box treasure of a play about Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter in love with a showman.
It’s presented by the Warehouse Living Arts Center but because of its size is on stage at the Palace Theatre. Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.
Short named Farmer of the Year
Agriculture businesses like farming and ranching are the backbone of Navarro County. Many farming families go back several generations.
Since at least 1965, the Corsicana Rotary Club (Wednesday club) has recognized and said “thank you” to the unsung heroes of the soil.
New clinic open
A new medical practice in partnership with Navarro Regional Hospital is now offering comprehensive occupational medicine services.
Purdon man sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for gun violations
Erik Willis, 31 of Purdon, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to serve a total of 258 months in federal prison following his conviction at trial in July 2013 on three felony firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Heat Advisory issued for North Texas
• Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat and indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.
Corsicana’s Red Cross provides valuable assistance
Two weeks ago, when firefighters, oil field emergency crews and county crisis teams responded to a potential gas drilling disaster near Mildred there were also volunteers on the scene, serving cold water and Gatorade.
American Red Cross volunteers respond to a variety of situations, including fires, evacuations, tornadoes, and even bad car wrecks.
Texas Legislature debates road funding
The Texas Legislature has convened to debate new funding for roads and bridges by diverting money from the state's Rainy Day Fund.
Tax rolls reflect closures
The industrial closures that were announced over a year ago have finally come home to roost in the form of lower tax appraisals in Corsicana and Navarro County.
Sheriff attends conference
Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner recently attended the Sheriff’s Association of Texas 135th Annual Training Conference at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, July 20-23. Over 1,500 peace officers were in attendance.
Downed line blocks traffic
Traffic on East State Highway 31 was halted Thursday when an 18-wheeler hit a sagging telephone line, brining down the line and compromising two utility poles.
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- ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace