GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge in Grand Rapids tried to hold a trial, a rare step during the coronavirus pandemic, but the plan was scratched when the defendant didn't show up Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Janet Neff had planned to have jurors spread out in the area normally used by spectators. Witnesses would testify from the jury box.
But jury selection didn't start: Anthony Ozomaro refused to leave a jail to go to court, Neff said in an order that sets a new schedule for the case.
“This was going to be our first trial” since the virus outbreak, said Michelle Benham, chief deputy clerk.
Ozomaro is charged with a methamphetamine crime. He is acting as his own lawyer. Separately, he faces a murder charge in Kalamazoo County.
In state courts, trials have been postponed for weeks because of stay-home orders and efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.