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North Carolina judge quashes media subpoena in murder trial

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
A federal judge in North Carolina said that the state's media outlets will not have to turn over more than…

A federal judge in North Carolina said that the state’s media outlets will not have to turn over more than two years’ worth of stories and reader comments about a murder in response to a subpoena from the accused killer, The Newsroom Law Blog reported.

Defendant Demario James Atwater, who is accused of killing a Chapel Hill, N.C., woman in 2008, had requested his trial be moved to Virginia and asked for media reports about the crime to show he could not receive a fair trial locally. The 17 media companies that received the subpoena argued that the request was unreasonable and overbroad.

Chief District Judge James A. Beaty, Jr. agreed with the media’s argument that the cost of compiling the material, which is readily available online and in local libraries, was burdensome.