I had hopes of live blogging from the first-degree murder trial of Derek Lee Hernandez this week. Alas, it is not to be.
Fourth Judicial District Judge Deborah Grohs turned down the Gazette’s request for expanded media coverage of the trial.
I had requested to have a photographer in the courtroom and also asked if I could bring my laptop computer in order to file periodic reports on the trial.
This marks the first time I’ve been turned down on such a request in the year and five months that I’ve been covering courts for the Gazette.
“Typing on a key board in the courtroom, whether it is on a laptop computer or a cell phone is prohibited,” Grohs wrote in a one-page ruling. “The act of typing is disruptive and takes away from the dignity of the court proceedings.”
“Live blogging during court proceedings also jeopardizes the sequestration order that is in place,” she added. “No one, including members of the press, audience members, and attorneys on the case may type on a keyboard, blog, text message or e-mail from the courtroom.”
“If the court sees any violation of this Order, the laptop or cell phone will be confiscated and NOT returned to the owner.”
I don’t routinely request to live blog, but based on the earlier trial this summer of a co-defendant, the Hernandez trial likely will be an interesting case.
Thus I’ll do my best to blog about it, but it won’t be live. I’ll file my reports from the press room or elsewhere outside the courtroom.