Missoula Weekly Crime Report: In-Person Jury Trials Have Returned
The Missoula County Attorney’s Office filed 20 new criminal complaints this week. Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings appeared on Talk Back Friday morning and he provided us with his report.
“We had violent offenses and crimes against persons,” Jennings said. “There were nine offenses charged. We had five endangerment crimes and those are often driving related. They are often alcohol or drug fueled as well. We filed two property crimes and I believe both of those were thefts. We had three drug crimes and meth continues to plague our community. We had one administrative crime and we use that as a catch all category for various offenses. I think this one this week was a fugitive. We caught someone here in Missoula County that had charges from another state.”
There were 29 cases last week and 20 this week, which is well above normal. Jennings said the Missoula County Attorney’s Office always takes a closer look at possible crime trends in our community.
“We have been trying to track our weekly totals a little bit better and see if we can figure out if there are any patterns or any reasons that one week might be higher than another,” Jennings said. “I am not too superstitious, but we had another full moon this week. Sometimes I wonder if that has anything to do with it, but we hope those numbers obviously go down. I wanted to remind your listeners that this is a graduation weekend for the University of Montana and if you are out celebrating with friends and family, please be safe. I hope I don’t see your name next week.”
The Missoula County Attorney’s Office also starting doing in person jury trials again a few months ago. Due to COVID-19, Jennings said there has been a significant backlog of trails that needed to be moved forward.
“We have been having about one jury trial a week since that time,” Jennings said. “I know it is really burdensome for members of the public to be pulled out of their daily lives, maybe miss work, have to make child care arrangements, and come in and serve on a jury. I just wanted to give a shout out of thanks to members of the public that do fulfill their civic duty and serve as jurors in our community.”
Jennings said most jurors are so engaged and intelligent. He said they listen to the facts and make really hard decisions.