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Media gains access to sniper suspect’s juvenile court records

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Media gains access to sniper suspect’s juvenile court records

  • The records released included transcripts of closed detention hearing of Lee Boyd Malvo.

Feb. 21, 2003 — More than three months after media organizations requested to attend Lee Boyd Malvo’s Nov. 4, 2002 juvenile court detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Bredar released transcripts Wednesday of the hearing and related court documents.

The Associated Press, The (Baltimore) Sun, The Washington Post and The New York Times were among the news organizations that joined to petition for access to the sniper suspect’s juvenile records.

The unsealed documents “detail uncertainty about Malvo’s identity and age after he was arrested with [John Lee] Muhammad in Maryland in October,” the Associated Press reported. The unsealed transcripts also revealed that prosecutors informed the judge that “Malvo was in violation of Immigration and Naturalization Service restrictions put in place after he entered the country illegally in Washington state with his mother,” the Associate Press wrote.

But not all records were disclosed. According to the Associated Press, about 70 lines in the 88 pages of records released were blacked out and four of the two dozen documents requested remained under seal.

(In re Washington Post Request to Open Juvenile Detention Hearing: Media Counsel: Lisa M. Duggan, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, D.C.) ST

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© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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