Virginia trial continued when too few show for jury duty
DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — The trial for a man charged in the death of a Virginia cab driver was continued Monday when too few people showed up for jury selection.
Danville Circuit Court Judge James Reynolds set a new trial date in December for James Fultz IV, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Wendy Harris in January, news outlets report.
Thirty-five potential jurors were needed at 9 a.m., but only about 25 showed by then. Twelve jurors and an alternate were needed for the two-day trial.
“It’s a damning statement on our community,” Reynolds said.
Fultz and the commonwealth are entitled to a trial by jury and 15 witnesses had set aside two days, he said.
“I apologize for not being able to give you your day in court,” Reynolds told Fultz.
Those who failed to attend “were abandoning their basic responsibility as citizens,” Reynolds said. They will have to explain why they shouldn’t be jailed and will be fined, he said.
Neither Reynolds nor Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Newman had experienced the situation before in Danville.
“It is extremely frustrating, especially for the victim’s family, who has already waited a long time for justice and now has to wait even longer,” Newman said.