The Pima County Superior Court has begun to hold arraignment hearings in courtroom 796 of the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County at 110 W. Congress.

Arraignments, the initial court appearances of accused defendants, had previously been held in a courtroom next door. However, that courtroom was tiny in comparison to others in the building and often overcrowded, even as much of the arraignments were conducted via video with defendants at Pima County Jail.

In-person defendants often had to wait in the hallways for space to open up. 

The switch to courtroom 796 will provide additional seating in the gallery, with more space for defendants and more room for the media.

Court officials decided to switch to the larger room when it became available after the retirement of Judge Howard Hantman.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or On Twitter @pm929.