Media Oppose Sealing Of Newtown Records

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) _ Five newspapers and The Associated Press asked in court filings Wednesday that search warrants related to the Newtown school massacre not remain sealed beyond a court-approved 90-day period.

The group asked in January that the records be unsealed but they remain closed to the public, and Prosecutor Stephen Sedensky III would not say Wednesday whether he would seek an extension. The 90-day period ends March 27, a court official said.

Sedensky successfully argued in December for keeping search warrants related to gunman Adam Lanza’s house and the car he drove to the school sealed for 90 days, saying disclosure would jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Sedensky said at the time that arrests were not anticipated but had not been ruled out.

Lanza killed his mother at their Newtown home Dec. 14, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six educators before he killed himself as the police were arriving.

The media filed the motions in Danbury Superior Court, seeking to intervene against any move to extend the 90-day period. The group contends the public has a right to see the documents.

The newspapers and the AP also urged the court to consider a report that a state police commander, Col. Daniel Stebbins, had disclosed details of the case at a police seminar in New Orleans.

A column in the New York Daily News, citing an unnamed police officer who attended the seminar, reported that Stebbins discussed evidence that suggested Lanza studied other mass slayings and dedicated extensive planning to the massacre.

The AP, The News-Times of Danbury, The Hartford Courant, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Journal News filed the motions. In an earlier letter to the court, they said disclosing the records would be unlikely to jeopardize the investigation, noting that no arrests were anticipated.

A police report on the probe may not be ready until the summer, Sedensky has said. The shooting has led to major gun control proposals.

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