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Lack of grand jury may mean more time in jail

Anyone arrested on major felony charges recently or over the next month, might have to remain in jail until February.

Because of the increase in COVID-19, Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. ordered all courts closed. In response to that order, Letcher Circuit Judge James W. Craft II has also ordered that because of the inability to hold grand jury meetings virtually, all grand jury meetings are cancelled until after February 1.

While a district judge can consider bond for persons who are accused of felonies, those accused of higher level crimes often remain in jail until after their case is heard by a grand jury, at which time the circuit judge considers bond.

Prosecutors normally have 60 days to present a case to the grand jury after an arrest. Under the order signed by Craft, the Commonwealth’s Attorney will have 60 days after February 1 to present the case.

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