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Judge Hears Arguments on Sealed Documents - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Judge Hears Arguments on Sealed Documents

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Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins heard arguments Tuesday on whether a court order that sealed search warrants related to the murder of University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love should be made public.

Higgins heard both sides of an argument about why some usually public documents associated with the Yeardley Love murder are being kept secret. Earlier this month, a judge sealed all the court documents in the case including the one explaining why everything is sealed.

Judge Higgins declined to rule on the case today, instead postponing any ruling until May 26th.

The judge heard narrow arguments on whether a court order making the documents private should be unsealed. The discussion was not about whether the documents, including search warrants and findings, ought to be made public. An attorney representing The Daily Progress, The Washington Post and The Associated Press said the seal should be lifted on the order so the public can know why the documents are being kept secret.

The Daily Progress Managing Editor McGregor McCance said, "The newspapers are simply trying to request the petition, submit the petition to have the judge consider unsealing the order that resulted in the documents being sealed."

An attorney for Charlottesville Circuit Court Clerk Paul Garrett, whose office has all of the records, says the case should be dismissed because it's eating up Garrett's time and the request isn't coming through the proper channels.

Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman also spoke during the hearing. He said they are in the middle of a criminal case and have a duty to have the trial heard here, have an unbiased jury and give the defendant, George Huguely, a fair trial.

Reported by Henry Graff
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