Special to Iredell Free News

The judicial system in Iredell County is slowly returning to normal after being paralyzed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, April 5, jury selection began for the case of State of North Carolina v. Patrick Clyburn Sr. It was the first jury trial in Iredell County since early 2020 after courthouse restrictions were put in place by the chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court.

Clyburn was charged with Driving While Impaired, Resisting a Public Officer, and a traffic infraction by Officer Pitts, formerly of the Statesville Police Department.

District Attorney Sarah Kirkman assigned Assistant District Attorney Carrie Nitzu to represent the State of North Carolina in these cases, while Clyburn was represented by Ken Darty.

Jury selection was conducted at the Unity Center rather than the Courthouse in order to allow for social distancing among potential jurors. Jury selection ended on Monday afternoon when attorneys for the State and Defense agreed on a jury of 12 people and two alternates.

On Tuesday, April 6, the State began the presentation of evidence at the Iredell County Courthouse. On Wednesday morning, after the presentation of evidence, the attorneys delivered closing arguments. The jury received the case on Wednesday afternoon to deliberate and returned a verdict of guilty on all charges that same afternoon.

“With the resumption of jury trials, business at the courthouse is almost back to normal,” District Attorney Sarah Kirkman said. “My office will continue to move cases and try to do so in the safest and most efficient way possible.”

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