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Douglas County District Court announces postponement of criminal jury trials

Posted at 3:39 PM, Nov 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 19:05:27-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Douglas County District Court announced Friday that criminal jury trials scheduled between November 9 and January 1 are postponed.

The move was made in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Douglas County set records this week in terms of new daily case counts countywide.

An order from Judge Horacio Wheelock said the "widespread increased community spread of the disease has reached the point at which day-to-day operations of the Douglas County District Court are affected."

According to the order, the court finds "postponing these criminal jury trials outweigh the citizen accused's right to a speedy trial as well as the public's interest in the prompt disposition of these criminal cases."

Wheelock's order also detailed protocols at the Douglas County District Court that will be in place from November 9 through January 1.

Among other procedures, the Hall of Justice will have restricted public access. All people in a courtroom will be socially distanced by at least six feet and wear masks at all times. No more than 10 people will be allowed in a courtroom at a given time.

The court will drop, extend or amend the order no later than December 15.

MORE: Read the full order from Wheelock by clicking here.

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