A Tale Of Two Trials

Going on at the same time.

Local history may have been made in Wood County Circuit Judge Jeff Reed's courtroom this past month.

That's because one jury was hearing evidence in one trial, while another jury was deliberating in another trial.

Because of a number of personal issues involving lawyers and witnesses, the murder trial of Jaymason Robinson, which received more coverage, by the way, on our station than in any other media, lasted longer than the four days for which testimony was planned.  As a result, the jury got the case for consideration almost a week after testimony began.  It took three days to reach a verdict, a little longer than juries in similar local murder cases.

While those deliberations were going on, another trial began in Judge Reed's courtroom: that of Krystal Spry, a woman accused of attacking a man outside a Parkersburg bar in January of last year. The jury got the case about a day and a half after testimony began (which is normal for a case of its kind)...while the Robinson jury was still in its discussions. (If you're wondering, the Robinson jury was in its discussions on an upper floor of the Holmes Shaver Judicial Annex while the Spry trial was going on in Judge Reed's second-floor courtroom.)

By the time the Spry jury got its case for discussions, the Robinson jury was still well into its deliberations.  The two juries were finally finished on Friday morning, March 18th, the end of the second week of the Robinson trial.  The Spry jury reached a verdict roughly one hour before the Robinson jury (in both cases, the defendants were convicted, albeit of lesser charges than what they were originally accused of).

I asked Judge Reed while both sets of juries were still out, whether he can remember, in his 18 years on the bench, two juries from his courtroom deciding separate cases at the same time, and he said he could not.  Perhaps another judge in Wood County has.  Nonetheless, it made for an interesting couple of weeks in the local courts.

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