Court appearances delayed Tuesday after holding cells lose electricity

Criminal defendants arriving for their appearances in court were momentarily sent back to jail Tuesday morning after the Sheriff’s Office learned there was no electricity in the courthouse holding cells. But as the court prepared to postpone cases, electricity was restored, and the inmates returned to the courthouse.

As the workday began Tuesday, some electricity panels were not functioning, said Susan Matherly, executive officer of the courts, leaving some rooms at the courthouse without lights or air conditioning. Since there were no lights in the holding cells, the Sheriff’s Office requested inmates who were transported to court be sent back to County Jail.

Had the outage continued, the courts would have had to request an emergency order to continue cases involving inmates who were being held in custody. But electricians were able to fix the outage by 10 a.m., and the inmates were again transported to the courthouse for their hearings.