By Shawn Neisteadt
If found guilty, Daphne Wright could become the first woman on South
Dakota’s death row. And because of the unique circumstances of the
case, the Minnehaha County courthouse has stepped up security.
Itâ€™s a standard procedure at the Minnehaha County Courthouse, anyone
who enters the building must walk through a metal detector and pass
security guards. But the high profile nature of the Daphne Wright
murder trial has prompted some added security.
Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead says, â€œSo as such, there is a
lot of public interest in it so we want to make sure we have enough
staff over there to maintain the operations at the security entrance
and also to have enough security staff for the courtroom and
transportation issues that we deal with.”
A large turnout was expected for today’s opening statements, however
only about three-fourths of the courtroom was filled.
Nonetheless, Minnehaha county sheriff’s deputies were busy with
security duty, facing an increased number of people entering the
building – and not all of them are there for the trial.
“There’s still a lot of people who need to do their daily business in
the courthouse. And we want to try to do that with the least amount
of disruption and so sometimes that will require some additional
staff. It’s like rush hour for the courthouse,â€ says Milstead.
During those peak times, Sheriff Mike Milstead says there may be some
lines to get in. However, you can avoid them by not coming early in
the morning or around lunch time. And while it may cause some
inconveniences, it’s part of their duty.
â€œItâ€™s all in the interest of security and keeping the people safe.
That’s the business were in,â€ says Milstead.
And that business will likely take extra staffing for however long
the trial lasts.
The courtroom has 56 seats for the public. If you want to attend the
trial, you must in the room when each session starts. No one is
allowed to enter the room while court is in session.
(( Source: KELOLAND TV ))