The Cincinnati Enquirer was wrongly denied access to court records in the case of a man accused of killing his wife and four children, an Ohio appeals court has ruled.
Two county judges presiding over the case of Michel Veillette last year sealed search warrants, public preliminary hearing records, and other documents on the grounds that their disclosure could affect the outcome of the trial, according to the Enquirer. The paper appealed.
The records were ultimately released after Veillette committed suicide this spring, the Enquirer says, but the Ohio Supreme Court determined that the matter should be ruled on anyway because it could come up again.
The Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals has now agreed with the paper that the trial judges did not hold the appropriate fact-finding hearing before deciding whether the records should be sealed. The Enquirer says its lawyer, Jack Greiner, was awarded attorney’s fees.