Some of the tightest Douglas County court security since a 1993 carjacking and murder trial greeted the first court appearance of a man charged in a Lawrence shooting death.
On Tuesday afternoon, walk-through metal sensors framed the entrances and hand-held metal detectors flashed and whirred, magnifying a tense atmosphere outside the courtroom of Judge Jean Shepherd.
Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson said there have been no violent incidents within the Douglas County Judicial & Law Enforcement Center (JLE), but he would rather be safe than sorry.
"It's a precaution -- obviously we had a situation that involved a high-visibility case," Anderson said. "We wanted to protect the accused along with others in the courtroom."
Anderson said maintaining order is also vital in the JLE's halls, where prisoners are led to and from the jail.
Neither quarrels nor clashes were evident during the afternoon court hearings.