"...none of our computers would work." Prosecutor's office struggles with malware attack as judge declares a mistrial in Cunningham case

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against Jason Cunningham and County computers are still dealing with a malware attack. That attack did affect some of the proceedings in court Tuesday.

Posted: Jul 23, 2019 10:15 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Vigo county courts experienced some delays because of that malware attack on their computers and the inability to perform their duties because of the attack.

There was a jury trial for Jason Cunningham. He's accused of breaking into several homes earlier this year. You might recall him as the man who one homeowner says spoke to their 5-year-old.

It was a long day in the courtroom today for Jason Cunningham's trial. The computer issues didn't make things any easier.

Cunningham is being accused of breaking into several homes in the 1200 block of Poplar St. This all happened in February of this year.

Today in court four different witnesses were brought in front of the jury. 2 were homeowners and 2 were the Terre Haute police officers who responded to the call and eventually arrested Cunningham that day.

When the first officer was on the witness stand he made reference that he has known and worked with Cunningham before. It was then that the defendant's attorney asked for the mistrial. 

The Judge, Sarah Mullican, said it was right on the line, but it wasn't enough for a mistrial.

When the second officer was put on the witness stand he made reference that they ran his name at the scene and found at least 3 other arrest warrants. That's when the defendant's attorney asked for another mistrial. 

The judge called for a recess and gave the prosecutors time to research to try and avoid the mistrial.

Eventually, she did grant the mistrial.

Now. Prosecutors say things didn't go as smoothly as they should have in the courtroom.

A big reason for this was that virus that had gotten to county computers. In the past, the prosecutors could have found a computer in the courthouse and done the research themselves. 

But, court officials said they had to use their cell phones and call someone from their office to look things up and help them since computers in the courthouse were down.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said the whole thing is a big headache.

"We all got to work today and found out that none of our computers would work. We were hopeful that something could change that they would get them going, but about 2 o'clock we decided to let everybody go home," Modesitt said. "No one could do anything cause we're paperless now at the courthouse," he said.

"We'll try to find things to do that we can, but like I said we don't have access to any case information since it's all on a computer now. So, it's a big problem," he said.

Modesitt said no one has confirmed what exactly happened and he's not sure when the computers will be fixed.

Meanwhile, for Cunningham, the court will meet again this Thursday to decide on a date for a retrial.

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