Tuesday, February 16, 2010

UPDATE: O'Brien Dodges Contempt Order As Source Comes Forward

Today, Dodge City maintains part of its downto...Image via Wikipedia
An anonymous news source identified himself and freed Dodge City (Kan.) Daily Globe reporter Claire O'Brien from her pledge of confidentiality, allowing her to testify at an inquisition, thereby prompting Ford County District Court Judge Daniel Love to rescind a contempt citation against her that carried a $1,000 daily fine [see "TUOL" post 2/5/10].

O'Brien had conducted a jailhouse interview with  murder suspect Sam Bonilla that appeared in the Globe last Oct. 13 and quoted an unnamed source who alleged one of the two shooting victims had the backing of supporters who harbored anti-Hispanic sentiments and a cache of automatic weapons.  Prosecutors sought the reporter's notes and testimony concerning the source's identity, but O'Brien initially did not appear at the inquisition.

O'Brien gave testimony at the inquisition after her confidential source revealed himself late last week. The reporter remains under a subpoena should her testimony be sought at Bonilla's trial.  Kansas does not have a shield law protecting journalists from having to disclose to authorities information obtained under a pledge of confidentiality.

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