Trial sends deputies to streets looking for jurors

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 30, 2003

Tailsman wanted: apply in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

A rape trial that was scheduled to start Thursday was put on hold for a while so that enough jurors could be found to hear the case. If you think this doesn't happen very often, you are right: Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton said this is only the third time in the 22 years he's been on the bench that tailsmen, or extra jurors, had to be located so a trial could commence. Walton said he doesn't remember it happening during any case when he was in private practice.

Forty jurors were on the roster to serve, but only 24 reported for duty. During jury selection, 10 jurors were disqualified for various reasons, such as previous association with attorneys or the defendant in the case.

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"When you run out of jurors, you call the sheriff's office and say you need tailsmen," Walton said. "They (the deputies) go into the streets and look for prospective jurors. We're ready to go now."

Steven D. Black, 48, of 104 Dolores St., South Point, is charged with two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual misconduct with a 10-year-old girl in his care. The incident allegedly took place in July 2002 at his home.