Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Rules set for Johnson trial


May 2, 2019

For the safety of both participants in the trial of Jessie Johnson vs. the State of Wyoming and the general public, Sheriff Jeff Hodge will once again be enforcing rules pertaining to courtroom access.

These restrictions will also affect visitors to the Crook County courthouse and will be instituted for the duration of the trial.

The trial is set to begin on May 6 and could potentially last until the end of the week. During that time, Sheriff’s Office deputies will be screening all visitors wishing to sit in the courtroom gallery, while the area outside the courtroom will be blocked off for security purposes.

Access will still be available to the offices at the front of the courthouse. Anyone wishing to visit the back offices, including the Clerks of Circuit Court and District Court, Road & Bridge, the Crook County Attorney’s Office or Growth & Development, will need to pass through the security scan.

Past the barriers, there will be a ban on electronic devices and firearms. Large images or messages on clothing will not be permitted.

There will be no access to the courtroom except during recesses and breaks as scheduled by Judge Michael Deegan.

These rules were previously instituted for the similarly high-profile trial of Marty Smith in February. As was the case for the Smith trial, a pool of 100 potential jurors has been called to serve next week.

Of that pool, 60 members of the community will undergo the jury selection process on Monday morning. If a jury of 12 cannot be selected from those 60 individuals, the remaining 40 will undergo jury selection on Monday afternoon.

Johnson faces felony counts of murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault and battery.


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