JULY 5– With the beginning of the long-awaited Holly Bobo trial finally here, Hardin County Sheriff Sammy Davidson said he knows the added traffic at the Hardin County Courthouse “will be an inconvenience,” but that he and his deputies will do everything they can to keep things as convenient as possible for those who still have to do business at the courthouse.
He said for those having regular business at the courthouse, he recommends trying to access the building between 9-11 a.m., and again between 2-4 p.m., when the lines of people trying to enter and exit the building should be shorter.
The trial kicks off tomorrow at 9 a.m. with final jury selection. Circuit Court Judge Creed McGinley, who is presiding over the trial moved here from Decatur County, said the final jury will be chosen Thursday and Friday, and then released for the weekend.
Jurors will return Monday morning to Pickwick Inn, where they will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, early enough to store their belongings and then be bused to the courthouse for the start of the trial.
Actual trial proceedings begin Monday, July 10 around 8 a.m. and continue daily until 5-5:30 p.m.
The judge said the trial will also continue on Saturdays for a half-day, on an if and as needed basis.
McGinley said Monday that the trial could take as little as a week, but may go as long as a week-and-a-half or two weeks.
Speaking on the expected increase in traffic and security at the courthouse, he added, as a word to Hardin County residents, “If I didn’t have to be there, I would avoid the courthouse entirely during the trial, if possible.”
Davidson said the only entrance and exit to the courthouse during the trial will be at the west-end doors, near the wheelchair ramp. All those who enter the courthouse will be required to go through a security screening, including a metal detector and x-ray machine.
“We will be restricting entrance and exit to the same door at the west end of the building, and although we can’t lock them due to fire safety regulations, officers will be watching the other doors on the ground and basement floors to prevent entrance or exit,” Davidson said.
He also explained that the east end of Court Street and the courthouse park where the gazebo is will be blocked off for official use, but that the sidewalks will be open for foot traffic.
Some parking, including the spaces across from the courthouse annex and some of the parking in the gravel lots behind the courthouse will be closed or reserved, but handicapped parking will remain available.