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Update: Judge Closes 14YO’s Hearing

A judge agreed to close the preliminary hearing for the 14-year-old accused of murdering his father and younger brother, after his public defender argued that sensitive information disclosed at the hearing could prejudice Eldon Gale Samuel III’s right to a fair trial and affect his chances for rehabilitation. “The court never lightly excludes the public,” said Magistrate Judge Clark A. Peterson, when announcing his decision this afternoon. Peterson said he considered the rights of “a very unique defendant” against the need to preserve public access to the courts. However, Peterson said he wasn’t sealing Samuel’s court record or future hearings. The Kootenai County public defender’s office intially asked the judge to seal the entire court record and proceedings/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Is this a reasonable request for 14YO double murder suspect Sheldon?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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