Court system in Northwest Florida backed up due to Coronavirus according to state attorney

Coronavirus

Pensacola, Fla (WKRG)- State Attorney Bill Eddins says jury trials are suspended until the end of May because of Coronavirus. Eddins says as a result, case numbers are climbing.

“It’s a major problem,” Eddins said. “Particularly with the cases such as the Howard case, which is the one where the defendant is charged with killing Naomi Jones.”

Eddins says the trial of Robert Howard has been postponed until June 1st. Howard is accused of murdering 12-year-old Naomi Jones back in 2017. The trial was suppose to start in March.

“There’s a possibility or probability that it will be pushed back further than June 1st based on what I’m seeing,” Eddins said.

Eddins says the team is trying to eliminate and close out any possible cases so they can cut down on the workload once the courts open back.

“In terms of an estimate in numbers, I think the most cases would go up, is they would likely double, but I think it’s most likely going to be a 50-70 percent increase in the number of cases,” Eddins said.

Eddins says he believes his team is ready to handle the influx of cases. He says some cases could be backed up for a year.

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