Law&Crime, the 24/7 live trial and true crime network, will broadcast its first live, in-person trial since the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the US justice system and stalled court proceedings. Slowly over the last few months, courts have been attempting to continue with added precautions including virtual hearings. However, judges have been more reticent to begin trials because of health risks associated with convening a jury.
The trial, starting August 10th. is a case against Wisconsin man, Jacob Cayer, who is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her mother.
The Brown County Circuit Court is taking several precautions amid the pandemic including conducting jury selection in a large conference center to maintain social distancing. In addition, for preliminary hearings, Cayer facetimed from the jail using an iPad. One of his hearings was temporarily halted when Cayer got upset and threw the iPad.
Cayer has been waiting several years to stand trial. His defense believes he is not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. A court recently deemed him competent to stand trial. Cayer faces charges including first degree murder, attempted murder, burglary, and bail jumping.
“Defendants have a constitutional right to have their day in court,” said Law&Crime President Rachel Stockman. “We are eager to see how courts like this one balance the serious health concerns with the right to a speedy trial, and the desire to bring justice to victims’ of horrific crimes.”