Jurors, accused sweat it out Monday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Staff Writer

Attorneys spent Monday striking juries in between wiping their brows.

Spinning fans in the makeshift courtrooms created at the temporary Pike County Courthouse made it a little difficult to hear, but was the only comfort for potential jurors.

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Air conditioning problems in the temporary facility have made things a bit uncomfortable for courthouse employees the past few days and continued on one of the busiest times ­ criminal court week.

It has been about six months since Pike County Courthouse employees packed up and moved across town.

Just before Thanksgiving, county employees were forced to relocate while the courthouse undergoes renovations that were expected to be completed by the beginning of April.

County commissioners have said they hope to begin moving back into the newly-renovated courthouse at the end of the month.

The $1 million-plus project has included making room for an elevator, which will make the courthouse handicap accessible, converting bathrooms to be in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, as well as electrical and mechanical upgrades.

When all the dust settles, the courthouse will also have new ceilings, lighting, carpet and some paint.

When they first moved into the old Wal-Mart store, employees had trouble with noise, which posed a particular problem for the courts. Because of that problem, the Pike County Commission gave permission for the circuit court to move cases to Troy Fire Station No. 2 and Troy City Hall.

The fire station room will be used again this week.

Despite the discomfort, juries were struck in the case of Carlos Stakely, who will stand trial on several drug charges. He was charged with two counts of distribution of marijuana, trafficking in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His trial will begin at 9 a.m. at the fire station on George Wallace Drive.

Another jury struck Monday afternoon will report to the courthouse at 9 a.m. Thursday to begin hearing testimony in the case of Chester Carl Wagner.

Wagner will stand trial on charges of first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse.