Murder trial halted for day after jurors get stuck on elevator

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Muscogee County Superior Court judge halted a murder trial Tuesday afternoon when multiple jurors got stuck in a Government Center elevator for an extended period.

A jury had just been seated in the trial of Javon McClendon, Nashira Miller, and Daijon Williams in the 2019 murder of Javion Shorter.

Superior Court Judge Ben Land was trying the case in a ninth-floor courtroom. He gave jurors preliminary instructions and sent them to lunch. They were to return at 1:30 for opening statements.

“About 1:15, I was informed that multiple jurors were stuck on the elevator,” Land told News 3.

Land said they never left the building after he dismissed them for lunch.

When he told of the issue, Land went downstairs to the jury assembly room, where the jurors gathered after being removed from the stuck elevator.

Land said he was told it was “more than three or four jurors” involved, but he was not sure of the exact number.

“I made a decision to send them home for the day, and we will resume the trial in the morning,” Land said.

The judge then made another decision. The trial will not resume in the ninth-floor courtroom, but rather in the ground-floor jury room.

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