CLARKSBURG — The late summer/fall session of the Harrison County grand jury will reconvene a week from today to take up several drug cases, Harrison Prosecutor Joe Shaffer said Monday night.
Grand jurors will hear cases on up to 10 individuals, Shaffer said. It marks the second time since Shaffer took office in 2002 that a grand jury has met for the second time in its term. The first time came earlier this year when Shaffer presented an alleged witness tampering case to grand jurors in late May.
Typically in Harrison County, the grand jury meets only once during each of the sessions. The first session is January through April; the second May through August; and the current session is September through December.
Shaffer said his office checked with Harrison Circuit Judge John Lewis Marks Jr. earlier Monday to make sure the court would OK Tuesday’s session, and Marks gave verbal approval.
Grand jurors will be notified by phone starting today, Shaffer said.
He added that his office will continue to add grand jury sessions as necessary.
The Harrison County Street Crimes and Drug unit is “bringing in a lot of activity,” and the Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force “is going after some quick buys, too,” Shaffer said. “We’ll do it as often as need be to keep an ebb and flow on the workflow.”
Anyone indicted in next week’s session will have the right to a trial before the end of the session, which, with the holidays, likely would mean by mid-December. Theoretically, that could pose problems with so few weeks left and the trial calendar mostly full.
“But I would think if they wanted to go to trial, any competent attorney is going to want more time to prepare,” Shaffer said. “However, we would be in a position to go to trial if necessary.”