Newspapers Contest Order Sealing Murder Warrants

Newspapers are demanding that the city unseal the court order that sealed search warrants related to the death of Yeardley Love, Ted Strong writes for the Progress. Along with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Washington Post, the Progress has filed a challenge in city court to the secret search warrant order. This is not a demand that the warrants be made public, but that the order sealing the warrants be unsealed, so that it’s possible to determine what the rationale was for sealing the warrants. (Progress publisher Lawrence McConnell is, not coincidentally, the president of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, an organization that promotes sunshine laws and generally opposes this sort of thing.) The next step, presumably, is for the court to determine whether they agree with the petitioners, though it’s not clear to me what the likely timeline is for that.

Disclosure: I serve on the board of VCOG with McConnell.

3 Responses to “Newspapers Contest Order Sealing Murder Warrants”

  • I wonder if the request to seal the warrants came from the commonwealth or from the defense? Was Judge Hogshire asked to endorse it first and passed on it? Or did it go straight to Judge Higgins? As we all know, she and counsel for the defense Fran Lawrence were partners together at St John, Bolling and Lawrence [Fran is still there].
    I also wonder if Fran might have represented Huguely back in ’08 when he was arrested in Lexington? That would, I believe, predate Judge Higgins appointment to the bench and thus create a conflict as her then firm would have had a relationship with the accused?

  • Does an order sealing a warrant require a rationale to be written on the order? Do you know?

  • FWIW, I don’t have the slightest idea. It certainly seems like a rationale would be part of that, or else there’d be no reason to ever seal that order, but that’s pure speculation on my part, Alison.

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