CONWAY — A trial over property damage claims stemming from groundwater contamination at the AVX Corp. manufacturing facility in Myrtle Beach has been delayed for six months because too few potential jurors were summoned to court this week, making it impossible to seat a jury for the case.
The two-week trial over whether contamination from AVX ruined plans for a condominium project at the corner of 17th Avenue South and Beaver Road in Myrtle Beach now will be held beginning March 11 at the Horry County courthouse here.
The county’s clerk of court had summoned 60 potential jurors for this week’s trial, but only about one-third of them showed up for jury selection on Monday. That prompted Judge Benjamin Culbertson to send sheriff’s deputies out to look for the no-shows.
On Tuesday, Culbertson said about two-thirds of the people who had been summoned either no longer live in Horry County or are exempt from jury duty for statutory reasons, such as having to care for a young child or being age 65 or older.
Twenty-two people were in court Tuesday for jury duty, but that was not a large enough pool according to state law from which to pick 12 jurors and two alternates.
“We have a transient population in Myrtle Beach,” Culbertson said. “Half [of those summoned] no longer live in Horry County, but you don’t know that unless they change their driver’s license address or voter registration address.”
Culbertson said on Monday that at least 200 people should have been summoned for jury duty in order to qualify a large enough pool of potential jurors.
Read more about this story in Wednesday’s edition of The Sun News
Contact DAVID WREN at 626-0281.