200 jurors sent home after power outage shuts down Criminal Court

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UPDATE: Entergy has confirmed a rodent caused the outage when it climbed into some electrical equipment at the courthouse.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - A rodent interfered with electrical equipment and caused a power outage that shut down Orleans Parish Criminal Court Wednesday, leading court officials to turn away 200 prospective jurors and delaying a trial.

The power went out around 7 p.m. on January 17, according to Judicial Administrator Rob Kazik, and shut down services across the courthouse.

The building remained operational for approximately an hour after the mishap, with city workers joining Entergy workers on the scene right away, but backup power could not be established.

One judge was in trial, which had to be delayed. The 200 jurors, who were scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. this morning, were turned away at the door.

Entergy spokeswoman Charlotte Cavell said power was restored about 11:15 a.m.

People arrested on the night of the 17th were still able see a judge Wednesday, but the meetings did not take place in the courthouse, as it typically would.

Instead, those people saw a magistrate judge in a room that serves as a courthouse in the new prison complex for bond hearings, Kazik said.

Defendants who were scheduled to come in Wednesday should report to the courthouse Thursday to receive their new trial dates.