On January 11, 2021, the Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office convened its quarterly meeting of the Grand Jury.
A total of 72 indictments were presented against a total of 21 defendants.
At the request of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Gerald Arrington, those indictments were sealed.
When asked about the reasoning for sealing those indictments, Arrington explained “that if those indictments had not been sealed, we were faced with bringing all of the defendants into the courthouse while it is closed to the public due to Covid-19 concerns for what is traditionally referred to as “arraignment day.” On that date, the defendants are instructed to appear in order to be served with their indictments and arraigned. This would have resulted in the Circuit Court exceeding its capacity in order to allow for social distancing. Further, any individuals that were not present would have potentially been arrested and held in the Haysi Regional Jail where there are active Covid-19 cases.
After consultation with the Circuit Court Judge Patrick Johnson and Circuit Court Clerk Beverly Tiller, we felt that due to the pandemic, that it was best to wait until the County’s Covid-19 numbers begin declining and the Courthouse returns back to normal operations as it was less than two weeks ago.”