“Defendants Chesebro and Powell will join each other at trial, however, the other 17 defendants are severed from these two. Additional severances may follow. All pretrial deadlines will proceed as scheduled without a stay of proceedings,” Judge Scott McAfee at the Superior Court of Fulton County wrote in a ruling issued on Thursday.
The move comes after Mr Chesebro and Ms Powell invoked their right to a speedy trial, the judge noted. Their motions to severance their cases from each other were denied but the court found that “severing the remaining 17 co-defendants is simply a procedural and logistical inevitability,” leading to the motions to sever from Mr Chesebro and Ms Powell being “granted in part”.
The judge wrote that joint trials are “generally favoured” because they “promote judicial efficiency and prevent inconsistent verdicts”.