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Magistrate court has video equipment problems

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Problems with equipment over the weekend meant a Kanawha County magistrate arraigned people in jail instead of by videoconference from the courtroom.

Magistrate Kim Aaron said in her 10 years as a magistrate, this was the first time she's had to do the arraignments in jail.

Problems with the equipment began Saturday, Aaron said.

The West Virginia Supreme Court, which provides the videoconferencing service, isn't open on weekends to help with technical problems, Aaron said.

"The system's great -- there are new flat-screen TVs," Aaron said. "It's really nice, it just decided not to participate in this week's activities."

Aaron arraigned more than a dozen people from South Central Regional Jail each day Saturday and Sunday, she said.

Magistrates are allowed to do arraignments by phone, but Aaron said she did not feel comfortable doing so.

"I personally feel better [arraigning people] face-to-face whether it's on a video or literally face-to-face," she said.

 


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