The trial for Jasiel Correia and Gen Andrade has an official start date, assuming COVID-19 related issues don’t get in the way.
U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock set a trial ready date of January 13th at today’s pre-trial hearing.
The court room will be limited to 26 people due to COVID-19 including a jury of 14, the judge, a clerk, and associated parties. Woodlock stated that overflow and zoom would be utilized to provide access to the court proceedings.
Woodlock also stated that in counsel with experts, masks could possibly be mandatory for all in the courtroom.
The judge mentioned the challenges that could come about due to the pandemic such as witnesses having to quarantine, and preparing for someone involved in the case, including the jury, possibly getting sick, however, safety is of importance and concerns would be considered.
Charles Rankin, Gen Andrade’s attorney, expressed concerns about being a guinea pig in the process. Woodlock listened to the concerns but stated unless something doesn’t work that will stop the trial, it is scheduled to continue on January 13th.
Correia’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, also expressed similar concerns as Rankin.
The judge stated that both attorneys could compile a list of concerns that would be addressed. The lists were to be completed by October 26th for another pre-trial conference when witnesses will be discussed.
Woodlock stated this summer in a virtual conference that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be difficult to start the trial as scheduled in September due to courthouses being closed for the most part.
Judge Woodlock believed at the time that the trial would begin in January 2021 at the earliest.
The trial was first scheduled to take place in May, but was pushed to September due to COVID-19.
The former mayor of Fall River faces 24 federal counts of alleged fraud connected to the SnoOwl app in addition to allegedly taking bribes from marijuana vendors.
Andrade, Correia’s former chief of staff and campaign manager, is facing six counts of alleged extortion and bribery.