Courtroom security camera in Friday Harbor aimed at defense's notes

The trial for Dustin Schibel hit a snag when court staff realized the security camera in San Juan County District Court in Friday Harbor had zoomed in on the defense attorney's notes. According to court observers, Superior Court Judge Kathryn Loring happened to notice the action when she was at her assistant's desk which has a screen that shows the feed from courthouse cameras. She immediately informed  Don Eaton who was presiding over the trial as the interim District Court Judge. 

The security camera is located in the corner of the San Juan County District Courtroom near the jury seating, diagonally across the room from the defense table.

The camera is controlled through San Juan County Sheriff's Dispatch Office.  Sheriff Ron Krebs said he was adjusting the controls trying to obtain a wider shot of the courtroom when the incident occurred. He said the zooming was unintentional and no words could be read. 

The seven-member jury was kept out of the courtroom while the event was discussed. They waited most of the day Friday before being dismissed with the plan of returning at 11:40 a.m. Saturday to finish the trial. They were ordered to avoid online media to prevent hearing about the reason for the delay. 

Before they return, Judge Eaton will hear the defense attorney's motion to dismiss. Judge Eaton directed the defendant, Defense Attorney Kenimond, Prosecutor Randy Gaylord, Sheriff Krebs, and an IT staff person to be ready to go at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, February 2, 2019. A copy of the video will be shown. 

The trial concerns charges of fourth-degree assault, harrassment and first-degree criminal trespass. 


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