|Judge: Media can cover teen’s court proceedings|
|Thursday, June 27, 2013 11:55 PM|
By Alex Woodring
OTTAWA — A motion to exclude the media from Michael Aaron Fay’s proceedings was denied Thursday afternoon by Judge Michael A. Borer. Fay is the juvenile who has been charged with the murders of Blake and Blaine Romes.
The motion was brought forward by the teen’s lawyer, William Kluge, his court-appointed attorney.
Before arguing the motion to exclude the media at future hearings, Kluge made a motion to exclude the media at the current hearing. This motion was denied almost instantly by Judge Borer.
Speaking for Fay was attorney Shannon McAlister who brought forth claims the media presence could potentially taint prospective jurors’ neutrality and bring potential danger and harm to Fay.
“It would be the argument of the movement party here today that there is a substantial basis to believe that harm could come to the alleged delinquent child,” said McAlister. “Putnam County is a small very close knit community. There is obviously quite a of bit discussion as it relates to this case already and to further allow dissemination at this point and allow access of the media would further taint the jurors.”
McAlister sited that the case has been covered by the media in print or online more than 36 times. She claims that they have caused speculation that could harm Fay.
Todd Schroeder, the assistant county prosecutor who is handling the certification hearing, said his office has decided not to take a position on the attorney’s motion.
Terrance Davis, who represented the media, including The Putnam County Sentinel, cited Fay’s council’s lack of evidence as the main cause to deny their request.
“They can’t do it through argument, speculation, conjecture.” said Davis “They have to do it through evidence and they don’t have any.”
Davis finished his case by referencing past cases with similar situations and speaking on the importance of transparency in order to maintain fairness.
After hearing both sides Judge Borer sided with council for the media.
“There has not been evidence presented to the court indicating that there is any potential or actual harm to Mr. Fay,” said Judge Borer.
After the hearing, Davis praised Judge Borer’s decision.
“The judge came to exactly the right conclusion,” said Davis. “There needs to be transparency in the courts for trials such as Mr. Fay’s trial so everybody can have faith in the system. That’s the only way it works.”
Fay, as well the victims’ mother, was present in court. Fay is being held in the Wood County Juvenile Detention Facility in Bowling Green as Putnam County does not have a youth facility.
Fay is due back in court on Tuesday, where the decision will be made whether to try him as an adult. Attorneys will seek to establish probable cause at Tuesday’s hearing in juvenile court. State law mandates that a 16- or 17-year-old be tried as an adult if he or she is charged with murder or aggravated murder.