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Baltimore County Has Tried 10 Murder Cases Since Return Of Jury Trials

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Since jury trials resumed in April, Baltimore County has tried 10 murder cases and reached guilty pleas in 15 others, Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger announced on Thursday.

Jury trials were permitted to resume on April 26. Four courtrooms in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County have been equipped to accommodate social distancing and other safety measures, and jurors are selected at the American Legion Hall where there is more space, Shellenberger's office said.
Following the restart, 1,374 cases have been resolved without the need for a jury trial even though the option for one was available, his office said. Thirteen cases that were deemed serious, 10 of which were murders, have gone through jury selection and trial.
Before jury trials started up again, Lead Criminal Judge Robert E. Cahill, Jr. created a schedule of cases that prioritizes how old a case is and if the defendant is incarcerated while awaiting his or her day in court.
In a statement, Shellenberger credited Cahill, Administrative Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox, and Administrative Judge Ruth Jakubowski for "their leadership in structuring a process where all of us can work together to achieve justice for the victims of crime in this County and for the individuals charged with those crimes."
Cox retired in February.
Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera ordered in March 2020 that courts across the state shut down due to the pandemic. At that time, the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office worked with public defenders and defense attorneys to "find fair and prompt resolution of cases" that could not go to trial, Shellenberger said.
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