Several months ago, Judge Jon Spahr asked me if I would be interested in being the Grand Jury Foreman. I enjoyed watching Judge Spahr during a trial last December while serving on the jury and thought I should not refuse. He explained to me I would find it very interesting of which I did. Every Thursday for three months placed a time crunch on my business schedule and made my Fridays and Saturdays a mess of appointments.
On jury days, I was coming into the office at 4:30am to finish some things up and visiting the coffee shop downtown during lunch break for their laptop wireless connection.
During the last three months, every Thursday 13 Jurors and I met for Grand Jury, not allowing to give their names or talk about the indictments we handed over, I was allowed to take this photo with permission of Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt. The neat thing about serving on Grand Jury was that you become buddies with everyone on the jury and I will miss them this coming Thursday. My duties as Foreman was to swear in the police officers and all witnesses (also make a donut schedule) and sign off on the indictments hoping the bad guys do not see my name. I have wondered about this several times.
I collected a sample of the crimes presented to the Grand Jury for consideration:
Unlawful restraint, falsification, theft of dangerous drugs, OVI, DUS, speeding, receiving stolen property, selling stolen property, possession of stolen property, aggravated murder, mishandling a corpse, robbery, aggravated robbery, forfeiture specifications, manufacturing controlled substances, firearm specifications, domestic violence, safe cracking, unlawful use of a firearm, resisting arrest, complicity to murder, felonious assault, failure to comply, possession of counterfeit control substances, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, aggravated trafficking, possession of marijuana, psilocybin, meth, crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, mushrooms, bylocin, bylocybin, MDMA and more.
The jury learned many different things during the course of the three months: you are always being filmed where ever you shop, jeweler’s bags are not made to hold jewelry, a “buck” is a $100 piece of crack cocaine, heroin is sold in small balloons (makes it easier to hide in places you do not want to know about), Domestic Violence includes women beating on men, a woman can be charged with a sex offence, people will steal anything that is not bolted down including spa tubs, you may think you have a good employee but you really do not, police dogs are very smart, CI’s play a very important part in our lives and we have an excellent Licking County Prosecutor’s office, Sherriffs Department and all the police departments of Licking County, the drug task force made up of officers from many different police departments are great. Chore boy is not really for cleaning classic car wheels, all the weird items for sale at a convenience store are not for fun, but for drug use. You can try to hide drugs anywhere in your car or home but they will be found.
I hope to do this again someday, but after I am retired and thinner, because after Grand Jury days you just wanted to go home and hide under your bed from the world.