Douglas County judge reports for jury duty

There was a familiar face in an unfamiliar place Monday morning at Douglas County District Court.

Judge Peggy Kittel, instead of being behind the bench in her own courtroom, was among roughly 60 other potential jurors reporting for duty in another courtroom.

Kittel remained in the jury pool throughout the morning but ultimately was not selected for the jury, which began hearing testimony Monday afternoon.

Peggy Kittel

Judge Kay Huff, who is presiding over the jury trial, said it was the first time she’d had another judge report for jury duty in her Douglas County courtroom.

“Judges are called, and judges are happy to serve,” Huff said.

Kittel has served as a judge in the Seventh Judicial District since 2008 and has been chief judge since 2016. On Monday, incidentally, she was reappointed as chief judge by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Another judge handled Kittel’s hearings Monday until she was back on the bench in her own courtroom.

Jury assembly began first thing Monday for the trial of Ronald E. Throne II, 31, of Lawrence.

Throne, a previously convicted sex offender, was charged in 2016 with aggravated indecent liberties with a child, electronic solicitation and indecent solicitation of a child. He was accused of inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl, sending her a sexually explicit video and text messages asking for sex, the Journal-World previously reported.

In 2007, Throne was convicted of two felony counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of an 11-year-old child in Crawford County, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s offender registry.