COVID Exposure Delays Federal Corruption Trial

Jul 16, 2021
Originally published on July 16, 2021 3:34 pm

The federal corruption trial of Tallahassee businessman J.T. Burnette is on hold. The judge in the case cleared the courtroom this (Friday) morning after one of the jurors said she'd had contact with a COVID-19 patient.

U.S.Judge Robert Hinkle sent everyone home after the unidentified juror, who was not vaccinated, said she had visited her COVID-positive mother in the hospital Thursday night. All jurors will now undergo testing. Judge Hinkle said the trial would resume once all concerned tested negative for the virus. Burnette, former Downtown Improvement Authority Chief Paige Carter-Smith and former City Commissioner Scott Maddox were allegedly involved in illegal schemes involving real estate development permitting and kickbacks among other charges.

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