By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Much like all other public events, the circuit court hearings and trials have been delayed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After several weeks with no progression, Friday, May 29 brought the Honorable Judge Lynn Nelson back to the bench for a full docket.
Most of the hearings for Judge Nelson was that of abuse and neglect cases or those involving a minor. These cases are closed hearings and do not permit the public to attend. However, most cases of a criminal status within the circuit court system allow the public to attend and the information to be published.
Three criminal cases were presented on Friday, including that of Jason White. White is charged with murder and has been in custody with the Department of Corrections. His trial date has been set previously, most recently in April, however the pandemic forced the court to reschedule. White will now appear before Judge Nelson and a jury on August 10 through the 13.
Steven Swiger also appeared before the court for sentencing. Swiger plead guilty on February 12 to one count of fleeing from an officer with reckless indifference, a felony, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a revoked license for DUI, first offense. Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora requested a sentence of one to five years incarceration, however Defense Attorney Brent Easton requested an alternative sentence. Judge Nelson ordered 120 days to be served in the regional jail on the misdemeanor charge, and suspended the request from LaMora to five years of probation.
Returning for the first time in several months was Tammy Mook to reschedule her trial. Allegedly, Mook has been experiencing some medical issues which delayed this process. She is charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of receiving/transferring/concealing stolen property, two counts of grand larceny, all of which are felonies. Mook also has two misdemeanor charges consisting of two counts of conspiracy. She is scheduled to appear before Judge Nelson and a jury on Tuesday, September 15.
Judge Nelson along with the Honorable Judge James Courrier will return to the Tucker County Circuit Court in the month of June in an attempt to get hearings and trials back on the schedule.