Prospective grand jurors fear COVID-19, judge says

Responses to jury summons reflect concerns

When replies to grand jury summons began to arrive last week, one thing became apparent to county officials -- most people were afraid to contract COVID-19 while serving on a jury.

SAN ANTONIO – When replies to grand jury summons began to arrive last week, one thing became apparent to county officials.

“I would say that COVID-19 is not only the primary reason but really the ultimate reason that most individuals have called in and don’t want to come”, Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel said Monday.

A total of 480 summons were mailed to seek jurors for grand jury duty. That is a smaller number than is usually sent out for jurors to serve for trial jury duty.

FIRST REPORTED: Jury summons are on the way for some in Bexar County

Rangel said COVID-19 fears were not the only related issues raised in the responses.

“We’re not only getting individuals telling us that they’re afraid to come in for fear of catching the virus and taking it home but that they’ve actually been diagnosed or told that they’re positive,” he said.

On Tuesday, Rangel will interview about 40 prospective jurors in the central jury room, marking the first time there have been potential jurors there since the moratorium on jury service was ordered in mid-March.

Bexar County courtrooms soon to have new look


About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.