Circuit Judge Karen Ahn opposes the media’s request to unseal the transcript of closed proceedings in federal agent Christopher Deedy’s murder case, state lawyers said in court papers filed with the Hawaii Supreme Court this morning.
Ahn also opposes the request for a court order prohibiting her from closing future hearings without first giving the public a chance to object, the lawyers said.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now made the request to the high court last month. They maintain that Ahn violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Deedy and other news and media organizations support the request. City prosecutors oppose it.
In their opposition, state attorneys disclosed the closed proceedings were “to address matters relating to the jury” and two jurors were “interviewed by the court twice, separately.”
The lawyers said the media’s request should be denied because they did not object to the closures and the matter should first be heard by Ahn.
Following the closed sessions, Ahn declared a mistrial in August when the jury reported it was unable to reach a verdict on Deedy’s murder charge.
Jury selection for Deedy’s retrial is scheduled for June on the charge of murdering Kollin Elderts in the 2011 shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki.
The high court’s options now includes ruling on the request, asking for more legal briefs, or holding a hearing before issuing a decision.