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Whatcom County Courthouse (July 29, 2016). My Ferndale News file photo

Whatcom Superior Court postpones jury trials

FERNDALE, Wash. — On March 11th, the Whatcom County Superior Court, along with other district and municipal courts, issued an administrative order whereby jury trials scheduled for any date between March 11th and March 31st be rescheduled to April 6th or later. This order was due to “COVID-19 being known to be highly contagious and easily transmitted in enclosed spaces like the jury rooms.”

This order effected the separate jury trials of Donna Brown, accused of the theft of money reported taken from the Ferndale Key Bank branch in 2015, and Christopher Koop, accused of the murder of his father in their Ferndale home in 2017.

Koop’s trial was scheduled for March 16th but is now on the court calendar for May 4th.

Brown’s trial began March 10th and on the morning of March 11th her attorney asked the court for a mistrial. It was granted “based on public safety and health grounds” and the jury was released. No new date for a jury trial has been made available.

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