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Inmate ends attempt to make author testify

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Inmate ends attempt to make author testify 05/03/1994 LOUISIANA -- In early April a convicted killer seeking a new trial…

LOUISIANA — In early April a convicted killer seeking a new trial ended his attempt to compel the testimony of an author who wrote a book about the murder. The convict, William Fontanille, agreed to a stipulation with the state as to what the author, Joseph Bosco, would have said.

Fontanille had sought to question Bosco about his interviews with Kerry Myers, another man convicted in the case. In November 1993 a trial court judge in Gretna found Bosco in contempt and ordered him to jail. An appeals court in Gretna stayed that ruling, and ruled in January that Bosco could assert a qualified constitutional privilege.

In February the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans deferred review of Fontanille’s appeal pending a remand to the trial court to determine whether there was a “compelling and overriding interest in the public disclosure” of the information.

Because of the stipulation, in which Bosco played no role, the trial court did not need to make that determination.

In another development, in mid-April the trial court refused to issue an injunction sought by the other convict, Myers. According to Leonard Davis, an attorney for Bosco, Myers had asked the court to order Bosco not to destroy any of his research materials.

(State of Louisiana v. Myers; Media Counsel: Sidney Cotlar and Leonard Davis, New Orleans)

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