The current edition of the Hunt County grand jury is scheduled to convene this week, for the first meeting of its six-month term of serving the 354th District Court.
The panel is scheduled to meet for the first time Friday.
At least five aggravated assault cases are currently pending before the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office, as well as multiple other felony cases, which the grand jury may be considering between now and December.
The previous grand jury, which served the 196th District Court, wrapped up its term, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in June. The session in March was canceled as a result of the pandemic.
The incoming grand jury will also be under safety precautions and be required to maintain social distancing. The courtroom will undergo a cleaning and sanitation treatment just before the meeting and masks will be available for the grand jurors.
The offices at the Hunt County Courthouse remain closed to the public, under a disaster declaration connected to the pandemic and jury trials are not scheduled to begin before at least Aug. 1, which has resulted in a backlog of felony cases awaiting trial.
The Hunt County Commissioners Court has entered into rental agreements with the Greenville Municipal Auditorium, also known as the GMA, and the Texan Theater for the county’s use for jury selections. Hunt County currently has nine pending capital murder and murder cases pending before the 196th and 354th District Courts, including three potential death penalty capital murder cases.
The specifics of the cases which are presented to the grand jury are kept confidential until such time as the panel decides whether or not to issue indictments.
The grand jury can either issue indictments — or “true bills” — or determine its investigation did not find sufficient evidence to issue an indictment, in which case a “no bill” is issued.