Lander’s Ninth District Courtroom to host a Federal Criminal Trial in 12 days; Courthouse to remain open on Columbus Day

(Lander, Wyo.) – Ninth District Court Judge Norman Young told the Fremont County Commissioners this morning that a Federal criminal trial would be held in Lander beginning October 1st. He said the vehicular homicide trial is expected to bring lots of activity to the courthouse. The trial is being held before U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of Casper.

Young said this trial will be the third Federal trial held in the Lander District Courtroom since he has been on the bench. Previous trials were held by U.S. District Court Judges Clarence Brimmer and Chief Judge Nancy Freudenthal.  “Judge Skavdahl approached me this past May  and asked if he could have a trial in Lander. Of course, I said yes,” Young said.

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In advance of the trial, Young said the U.S.Marshall’s Office and other Federal security officers have visited and toured the courthouse to prepare for the trial. “They’ll use one of our new walk-through scanners,” Young said. “We will take the one from the Kail Room and they will control who goes into the district courtroom.” There is a possibility they would use the old jail in the courthouse for witnesses, the judge noted. He also said the Ninth District Circuit Court, in the “round room” would continue to operate as normal, “but you’ll probably see a lot of new faces around here during that week.”

In preparation for the trial, Young said he had asked Building Supervisor J.R. Oakley to do some “spring cleaning” at the courtroom. “We’ll be spiffing up at bid and doing some things to put our best foot forward,” he said.

Oakley said he is hiring a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner to work the courtroom before the trial. Oakley said he was  planning to do that anyway, “but this is moving up my plans, it will not cost us any more than what I have already budgeted,” he said.

With the trial scheduled for one week, Oakley also asked the commissioners to cancel the planned courthouse closure on Oct. 8th, Columbus Day, as in the past. “If the trial spills over to Monday, we can’t have just half of the courthouse open, there is no way to block off the rest of the building,” he said. Commissioners agreed and will leave the courthouse open on Oct. 8th for regular business.

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