15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office preparing for return to in-person court proceedings

15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office preparing for return to in-person court proceedings

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office is preparing to return to in-person court proceedings.

This week, South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty signed an order allowing courts to resume in-person activities March 15.

In-person court proceedings have come and gone multiple times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve changed based on coronavirus case counts.

Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said his office won’t have every type of court back by then, but they’ll phase them in at some point in the near future.

“We will continue to do court like we were in February throughout March, and then we will be really up and running in April,” Richardson said.

Richardson says criminal trials will finally come back after being put on hold for so long. He noted they couldn’t perform trials since they couldn’t get a jury in due to the pandemic.

According to Richardson, his office has submitted a list of trials they believe are of the highest priority and should be tried first.

“These are really serious crimes, and there will be movement on them now,” Richardson said.

Richardson said among the high-profile trials his office hopes to try in the near future include the trial for Charles Adams, who’s accused of robbing multiple houses in the Grande Dunes area.

Garth Treadway is another man who will face a jury soon. He’s accused of felony DUI after police say he killed three people while driving drunk on Robert Grissom Parkway.

Both cases happened in 2018, and Richardson hopes to put an end to them soon since they’ve been put on hold longer than planned due to the pandemic.

Richardson said it’s important to get these trials moving because of how long the victims and victims’ families have waited.

“Treadway was arrested in May of 2018, so it’s getting up toward three years old,” Richardson said.

Richardson said while his office submitted a list of proposed trials to get to first, a judge also submitted his own list. According to the solicitor, the lists are pretty similar, but they’ll come to some sort of middle ground between the two before any official trial dates are selected.

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