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Jury trials resume in Lauderdale County

Jurors were called for jury duty for a case involving a deadly shooting in Florence
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 9:03 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Jurors in Lauderdale County are back in the courtroom for the first time since March.

Since Monday Lauderdale County has had three jury trials in full swing. The Derrick Turnley case is one of them.

He is accused of shooting Jeffrey Cherry on Long Lane almost two years ago. The reason for the slowdown is because it’s been hard to bring jury pools in because of the pandemic. In fact, the county has only had three pools of jurors since the pandemic started.

Normally it happens once a month. This year it’s only been in March and now in October.

“In the legal world, when the jury is reporting on Monday to the courthouses, to the coliseum, that’s when the fire gets hot and people began to talk and bridges can be built, gaps can be bridged and cases settled,” said Judge Gilbert Self.

Presiding Judge Self said it’s important to get these cases tried in the safest way possible even in adversities like COVID-19.

“We’ve summoned 250 to 300 venire as we call them to the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum because that’s the biggest facility that we can socially distance and maintain masks and strike juries,” said Self.

Today in the Turnley trial- multiple witnesses took the stand including a state medical examiner and the victim’s brother.

A responding officer also took the stand. He said that one of the eyewitnesses said that after Turnley fired the shot, he said quote: “Don’t worry. Call the cops.”

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