Posted: Apr 1, 2013 6:25 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
Updated: Apr 1, 2013 6:49 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - The murder of a Kaufman County District Attorney and his wife have public officials all over the state concerned about safety including Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka.
Every day, hundreds of people walk through the doors of the Nueces County Courthouse and the people who work and visit the courthouse have to trust that the security installations and operations will protect them.
"I read last night on the Internet that they cal about 2800 people on any given Monday or Tuesday for jury duty and you don't know what's walking in the door," Said Susan Branscum while awaiting jury duty.
The recent slaying of a District Attorney and his wife in Kaufman County, Texas is just the latest of justice system killings that have raised concerns locally.
"There still needs to be more security here," said Justice of the Peace Judge Henry Santana.
Although the killings happened just this weekend, District Attorney Mark Skurka already has at least one idea of where they could start.
District Attorney Mark Skurka said, "I've been to other courthouses around Texas; I noticed that a lot of their security starts actually out on the sidewalk before you can even get into the building."
While the Nueces County Courthouse has countless security cameras and a security checkpoint, some areas aren't protected as extensively as others. On the first floor, the Justice of the Peace courtrooms are just steps from the entrance of the courthouse. They don't have a security checkpoint which means basically anyone can walk in. Skurka says the judges working in that area have been asking for tighter security for years now.
Judge Santana recalled, "several years ago we took knives out of people's pockets and we had different types of small weapons that they would stuff in their pockets."
Since more security also means more money, it'll likely take more than just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling. District Attorney Mark Skurka said every prosecutor in their career has had some person make threats toward them since, many times, they're responsible for putting some people in jail for a long number of years. He added that, for now, everybody needs to take their own personal precautions whatever that may be.
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