Man pleads not guilty to 8 counts, including murder who is accused of killing a lottery winner

Man pleads not guilty to 8 counts, including murder who is accused of killing a lottery winner

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Jury trials are back underway in Cuyahoga County.

“For six months we haven’t had jury trials, so things have backed up, so now we’re setting trials, and getting those cases moving forward,” said Administrative Judge, Judge Sheehan.

For more than two years, Michael Ward has been waiting to stand in front of a jury.

Ward was arrested for the murder of Issac Carson, back in June of 2018.

Carson had just won the lottery the week before and the prosecution believes that’s why he was killed and targeted by Ward.

Today the prosecution and Defense almost asked for a continuance, leading the judge to call an hour and a half recess.

That left 60 potential jurors stood outside the doors waiting to be called.

“Jury duty besides serving our country in the military one of the most important things you can do we can’t move cases without our jurors " said Judge Sheehan " We want them to know they’re our VIP’s so we’re doing everything in our power to make sure they’re safe".

Court officials have minimized the time people are in courtrooms, supplied endless amounts of sanitizer and wipes, and chose rooms that have more than enough space for social distancing.

After the recess, all issues were resolved, and the jurors took their seats and the judge instructed them on duties.

Only 12 jurors will be selected and will move on to hearing opening arguments this week.

Ward has pleaded not guilty to eight counts, including aggravated murder, robbery, and kidnapping.

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