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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Prosecutor in upcoming Fields' murder trial doesn't want cameras in courtroom


By Record News | Jul 17, 2018

BELLEVILLE – Illinois appellate prosecutor Charles Colburn doesn’t want video coverage at the murder trial of David Fields, set to start on July 23. 

On July 13, Colburn objected to a notice of “extended media coverage” in the court of Circuit Judge Robert Haida. 

“There is good cause to believe that the presence of extended media coverage, under the particular circumstances of this trial or proceeding, would materially interfere with the fair and impartial administration of justice,” Colburn wrote. 

Fields allegedly shot and killed Carl Silas in his bed on Dec. 30, 2016.  

Investigators claimed Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert obstructed the investigation, but a grand jury heard his testimony and chose not to indict him. 

Colburn wrote in his motion that Jamie Lott, Latisha Traylor, Raynard Parker, and a juvenile were present when Silas was killed. 

He wrote that he expects to call them as witnesses. 

“David Fields has been charged but a second unknown individual was involved in the shooting and remains at large,” Colburn wrote. 

“To allow the testimony of these witnesses to be subject to extended media coverage while a second suspect in the shooting remains at large would endanger the safety of those witnesses.” 

The Illinois Supreme Court introduced extended media coverage in 2012. 

It involves appointment of a media coordinator who carries court authority over other news personnel. 

Chief Judge Andrew Gleeson applied to the Illinois Supreme Court for extended coverage earlier this year, and the Court granted it. 

In May, Gleeson appointed Beth Hunsdorfer of the Belleville News-Democrat as his media coordinator. 

In June, visiting judge Michael McHaney appointed her to coordinate coverage at Duebbert’s sexual abuse trial starting July 9. 

The trial didn’t happen, because prosecutors dropped the charges. 

Hunsdorfer brought a media crew to a hearing on July 6, when McHaney dismissed the charges. 

On that date, she filed notice of extended coverage for Fields’s trial. 

As of July 17, Haida had not set a hearing on Colburn’s objection.

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Illinois State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor Illinois Supreme Court Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Illinois

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