Monday, August 5, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Clayton News Daily
State Rep. Keisha Waites writes on a sign showing support for Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill Monday morning at the Clayton County Courthouse. (Staff photo: Kathy Jefcoats)
JONESBORO — Protesters gathered at the request of the Clayton County NAACP in front of the courthouse early Monday morning to show their support for Sheriff Victor Hill.
State Rep. Keisha Waites was among those showing support.
“I’m just here making sure the voters are being heard,” she said. “I’m supporting my colleague.”
State Rep. Ronnie Mabra was also there.
“I want to make sure the voters’ interests are represented and the judicial process goes in the proper direction,” he said.
“Because we’ve seen what happens when it doesn’t,” said Waites.
Summonses for 350 prospective jurors were sent out to residents to come to the courthouse by 9 a.m. Monday. Those jurors had to walk past and stand in line near people holding signs supporting Hill, some reading “Free Sheriff Hill” and “Stop the Maddness.”
The parking lot filled quickly Monday morning and there was a heavy presence of sheriff’s deputies outside and around the courthouse on Tara Boulevard. A K-9 unit patrolled the wooded area south of the complex. One of the exit-only doors was opened to allow two lines into the lobby for the security process. Long tables held gray plastic bins similar to the ones used at airport security for patrons to fill with handbags, backpacks, laptops and the contents of their pockets.
Once through security, visitors were greeted by courthouse personnel helping direct them to their destination. Jurors for Hill’s trial gathered in the larger courtroom 401, known as the ceremonial courtroom, but jury selection will be held in Judge Albert Collier’s courtroom.
The county government arranged for shuttle service to transport visitors parking in the back of the complex to the front entrance.
Hill faces 28 felony counts related to theft by taking allegations. He maintains his innocence.
Check back for updates throughout the day.