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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Ind. Courts - More on: Daviess Superior Court holds Adm.Rule 9 hearing on unsealing of court records

The ILB now has an update to this interesting Jan. 24th post. Nate Smith of the Washington (IN) Times Herald reported on Feb. 1st:

The Washington Times Herald filed a brief in Daviess Superior Court on Thursday asking for records to be unsealed in the Logan Evans murder case.

Jan Carroll, attorney for the Times Herald and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., said in her brief that sealing of the records in Evans’ case did not comply with the law.

Evans, 19, has been charged with murder in the Dec. 6 shooting death of Devan Burris, 17, Washington. His records were sealed at the request of the Daviess County Prosecutor’s Office and granted by Superior Court Judge Dean Sobecki.

Court information, including charges, motions, dates and even a cause number, are unavailable to the public.

“The fact that this is a pending criminal case does not constitute compelling grounds, and indeed warrants greater protections to the public and press in favor of access,” Carroll said.

Carroll argues in her brief the exceptions used by the prosecutor’s office in sealing the records does not apply with the state’s Administrative Rule 9, the guideline all courts in Indiana use dictating public access.

“That Evans is charged with murder is even a more compelling reason for his case file to be open,” Carroll wrote.

Carroll further argues in her brief that any requests to seal must have notice and interested parties have 20 days to respond, according to state rules.

A hearing must then be held to find “clear and convincing” evidence there will be harm to any of the parties or the general public if information about the case is reported.

This secret murder case is pretty amazing to the ILB! There is more in the Times-Herald report. Apparently there are three defendants, and the paper will also ask to unseal records in the Berry and Benjamin cases.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 4, 2014 01:28 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts