The racketeering conspiracy trial for three members of the Gypsy Joker Motorcycle Club will be delayed two weeks after the judge in the case contracted COVID-19.
Though lawyers in the case had received an email on Wednesday from the court informing them that a mistrial would be declared, U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut on Friday decided instead to delay the proceeding for 14 days to maintain the jury already selected and to conform to isolation guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She questioned jurors Friday morning to determine if they still would be available if the trial was postponed for two weeks, and likely to extend beyond the Thanksgiving break. All said they would be available, though one juror expressed concern about the impact on her job.
Immergut ruled from the bench that U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman’s positive test for the coronavirus did not necessitate declaring a mistrial. All lawyers and staff will need to be tested before returning to court.
If Mosman is not well by Oct. 18, Immergut said she’ll be ready to preside over what’s anticipated to be an eight-week long trial.
The trial was set to get underway this past Friday with opening statements before a 12-member jury and four alternates. Jury selection had gone forward Monday after Mosman tested negative twice. He got tested Sunday and Monday after his wife contracted the virus. He tested positive on Wednesday and felt ill.
The case stems from the 2015 kidnapping and torture-style killing of a former motorcycle club member, Robert “Bagger” Huggins.
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