Bexar County grand juries conclude service under challenging circumstances
SAN ANTONIO – The circumstances under which the two latest grand juries served were anything but ideal, with the pandemic ongoing and the recent winter storms in the Bexar County area. The 12-member panels met alternately twice weekly in the cavernous central jury room in the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center basement, which made maintaining social distancing ideal. The juries reviewed a combined total of about 1,600 cases, down considerably from a usual average of 2,000 cases per grand jury, according to Rangel. AdHe said maintaining the secrecy that by law must surround grand juries was a challenge due to the sheer size of the central jury room, which can accommodate more than 600 people. “We had extra security outside the central jury room so that nobody would go into the room that is normally open to the public,” Rangel said.
Jurors concerned about COVID-19 safety as cases rise in Bexar County
SAN ANTONIO – The county is examining potential meeting locations for grand juries in the Bexar County Courthouse complex after some jurors expressed concerns for their safety given the rising number of COVID-19 cases locally. With safety protocols in place, grand juries have been meeting throughout the pandemic. On Thursday, State District Judge Velia Meza toured meeting sites for juries within the complex. The locations are not being revealed since all grand jury meetings are secret and confidential. Spike in COVID-19 cases prompts Bexar County judge to temporarily postpone jury selection in capital murder trial