The pandemic changed the way many do business, including Butler County Common Pleas Court. After months of abbreviated court dockets, remote conferences and testimony, 2022 will bring technology update and an a lengthy capital murder trial.
Upgrades are planned in courtrooms of the common pleas general division that occupies the third and fourth floors of the court wing of the Butler County Government Services Center, according to Wayne Gilkinson, court administrator.
Courtrooms for seven elected judges and visiting judge courtrooms have not been updated in years.
“We are looking at upgrading our technology in all of the courtrooms on the third and fourth floors. Most of the technology is out dated and not all of the courtrooms have the same technology,” Gilkinson said.
Technology, including projections and recording systems used in trials, in the five judicial courtrooms on the third floor are mostly original to the building that was completed in 1999. Gilkinson said technology in the fourth-floor courtrooms date to 2007/2008 when the wing was expanded.
“We are not entirely sure of the cost but anticipate a price tag between $400,000 and $600,000. The court has a technology fund that we can access to defer costs and we will use (grant) money for the majority of the cost.,” he said.
West Chester family murder trial slated for Fall
Two lengthy trials are scheduled for 2022 including a death penalty murder trial for man accused of killing four members of his family at a West Chester Twp. residence in 2019.
The trial of Gurpreet Singh is scheduled to begin Oct. 3 and last for three weeks in Judge Greg Howard’s courtroom.
Singh, 39, is charged with four counts of aggravated murder for the April 28, 2019, homicides. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.
Singh is accused of killing his wife, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; his in-laws, Hakikat Singh Pannag, 59, and Parmjit Kaur, 62; and his aunt by marriage, Amarjit Kaur, 58, at their residence on Wyndtree Drive. All died of gunshot wounds.
Chiropractor’s trial starts in February
A lengthy criminal trial of a Hamilton chiropractor accused of sex crimes involving patients and employees is scheduled for the first quarter of the new year.
The 10-day trial of Dr. Stephen Boyd on 28 sex-related charge is scheduled to begin Feb. 23 in Judge Dan Haughey’s courtroom.
Boyd, who is free on bond, was arrested Dec. 9, 2020 after a grand jury returned an indictment against him for allegedly inappropriately touching patients and engaging in misconduct. Boyd has also been the subject of an investigation by the Ohio State Chiropractic Board.
The original indictment accuses the 57-year-old of committing sex-related crimes for decades. According to prosecutors, the original indictment involves crimes against eight victims who were juveniles and young adults in their late teens at the time of the alleged crimes. The alleged crimes occurred between November 1998 and December 2014.
Boyd was first charged with 12 counts of gross sexual imposition, seven counts of sexual battery, four counts of rape, two counts of attempted sexual battery and one count of attempted rape.
In April, a grand jury returned an indictment against Boyd for two new counts of gross sexual imposition, both fourth-degree felonies.
The new indictment alleges charges against a victim who came forward after the initial indictment as the ninth alleged victim, according to prosecutors.
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