County issues traffic advisory for Monday

JONESBORO — Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner issued a traffic advisory for Monday when 350 prospective jurors are expected to converge on the courthouse for the start of Sheriff Victor Hill’s trial.

Superior Court Judge Albert Collier said Friday that 128 jurors had returned surveys as of July 26. Clerks typically send 175 jury summonses for a trial week so traffic and parking are expected to be an issue until a panel is seated and the state’s case begins.

Turner issued a traffic advisory Friday, warning of congestion at the Harold R. Banke Justice Complex, commonly referred to as the Clayton County Courthouse, at 9151 Tara Blvd. in Jonesboro.

“Due to several proceedings over the week of Aug. 5, please expect a higher than normal traffic flow,” stated the advisory.

Turner has arranged for overflow parking behind the courthouse.

“Overflow parking will be located at the rear of the building and a shuttle service will be provided,” the advisory stated.

In addition to Hill’s trial, there will be eight active courtrooms Monday morning, according to court records.

Jury selection will begin in Collier’s courtroom starting after 9 a.m., he said Friday. Attorneys will whittle down the jury pool to 36 potential jurors, from which a panel of 12 with two alternates will be picked. There is no way to know how long this process will take.

Hill was indicted in January 2012 on multiple counts of theft by taking, violations of the RICO Act, lying to police, influencing a witness and violation of his oath of public office. Most of the allegations reportedly happened during Hill’s first term in office.

He was elected the county’s first black sheriff in 2004 and lost a re-election bid in 2008. He ran again last year and took office in January. He maintains his innocence, claiming that the prosecution is politically-motivated.