LIBERTY, Mo. — The Clay County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said a “technical and procedural” issue will send several cases back to a new grand jury.
Clay County prosecutor’s office said they learned of an issue with the grand jury that was impaneled from November 2022 to March 2023.
The office said it could not disclose any information about the problem due to the confidentiality of grand jury proceedings, but it said the error was an “unintentional and honest mistake outside the control of the court or the prosecuting attorney’s office.”
In an interview with FOX4 Wednesday, prosecutor Zachary Thompson told FOX4 the requirements surrounding grand juries in the state.
“Some of them include a residency inside the county they serve, that they must be 21 years of age or older,” Thompson said. “They must not be a felon without having their civil rights restored.”
Thompson said they don’t believe the issue has caused any prejudice or violated any defendants’ rights. However, they are still taking action out of an abundance of caution.
Several cases during this time frame were resubmitted Tuesday to a new grand jury.
“I can say that with these cases, there isn’t any change at all,” Thompson said of the new grand jury. “The charge remains the same. The defendant’s custody status remains the same. The only change you’re going to see is a different case number on CaseNet and maybe a different judge.”
Thompson said the new jury will not delay justice, nor will it cost the taxpayers money.
“We thought it was important to make the public aware about this issue because we value transparency in Clay County, and we take our commitment to following the law very seriously,” Thompson said.
“That’s why we made the press aware of this issue and immediately took proactive steps to make sure that any potential issues were addressed.”
One of the cases impacted made headlines last fall.
A Clay County grand jury indicted Haslett in mid-February on nine charges, including rape, sodomy, assault and kidnapping. The indictment superseded charges filed after Haslett was arrested in October.
A woman told investigators she was raped repeatedly while being held captive in his basement for about a month.
The woman, who has not been named, said she escaped when Haslett left the house to take his child to school and then ran to a neighbor’s home for help.
On Tuesday, Haslett was issued a new case number and arrest warrant. He is currently being held in the Clay County Detention Center on a $3 million bond and is scheduled to be in court Friday.