Trial moved involving US marshals charged in vaccine dispute


ABERDEEN (AP) – A federal contempt of court trial involving three members of the U.S. Marshals Service has been moved from Aberdeen to Sioux Falls, according to court documents.

Three supervisory marshals, including the agency’s Chief of Staff John Kilgallon, were accused of allowing a deputy marshal to leave the courthouse in Aberdeen with prisoners in tow on May 10, after the marshal refused to tell the judge whether she had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Trial was originally set for Sept. 13 in Aberdeen, but will now begin Dec. 14 in Sioux Falls. U.S. District Judge Brian C. Buescher, who is presiding over the case, said Sioux Falls is a more convenient place for proceedings for all parties involved in the case, the Aberdeen American News reported.

U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann, who filed the criminal contempt of court and obstruction of justice charges, has dropped out of the case. Buescher is based in Nebraska.

In court documents recusing himself from the case, Kornmann wrote that Department of Justice policies should not trump lawful federal court order and the case "has nothing to do with requiring anyone to be fully vaccinated.”

The Marshals Service operates under the DOJ, an executive branch agency, but it is tasked with the protection and enforcement of federal courts. Federal law grants the Marshal Service “final authority regarding security requirements for the judicial branch.”

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