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Some Danville jurors fined, others face arrest in 'nightmare scenario' that caused judge to delay murder trial

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Some of the potential jurors who didn’t show up for a murder trial last week have been fined or face arrest.

Danville Circuit Court Judge James Reynolds fined two of them $50 each and issued a capias for the arrest of two others each for not showing up for the trial or appearing before him Monday morning to explain why.

“Why weren’t you here?” he asked Linwood Saunders, one of the roughly half-dozen absentee potential jurors scheduled to appear before Reynolds.

Another juror, Lisa Robertson, told the judge, “I just got my days mixed up.”

Reynolds fined Saunders and Robertson $50 each.

Emphasizing the importance of appearing for jury duty, Reynolds pointed out to Saunders that one potential juror who showed up for last Monday’s murder trial did so after her father died the previous Sunday night.

Reynolds excused that juror from the Aug. 16 trial.

“We just can’t have that,” Reynolds told Saunders of the lack of jurors last week that forced him to delay the murder trial. “It was a nightmare scenario that has come to pass.”

Another juror, Fentasia Osborne, will likely be excused by the judge after telling him she had a doctor’s appointment that day.

“If I have a doctor’s note, I’ll dismiss it,” Reynolds told her. “You’re free to go.”

On Aug. 16, the murder trial for James Edward Fultz IV, the man suspected in the death of a cab driver in Danville in January, had to be continued by Reynolds because the jury pool was too small.

Reynolds was outraged after not enough people showed up for jury selection.

“It’s a damning statement on our community,” Reynolds said Aug. 16 in court.

Fultz is accused of killing 51-year-old Wendy Harris the night of Jan. 10 in the cab she had been driving on Gay Street.

Thirty-five potential jurors were needed for jury selection at 9 a.m. on Aug. 16, but just 32 showed up — with some of them coming into court late. Only about 25 were in attendance after 9 a.m.

Twelve jurors and an alternate were needed for the trial expected to last two days.


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