LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A judge has sealed the evidence against a
convicted Louisville sex offender charged with killing a 4-year-old boy.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled Monday that Cecil Eugene New II's right to a fair and impartial jury is greater than the public's right to have access to the evidence before it is released in court.
The judge said in her ruling that sealing the evidence will "have the effect of keeping inflammatory, graphic and possibly irrelevant material out of the public view until a jury is seated."
Jon Fleischaker, an attorney for The Courier-Journal, called the
judge's order "erroneous" and said the newspaper would appeal.
"We don't know the publicity will affect the ability to seat a jury," he said, adding that the judge has alternatives other than sealing the evidence, such as moving the trial.
New was charged in December with killing Cesar "Ivan" Aguilar-Cano, who disappeared near Churchill Downs on June 29. He was found in the back of a garbage truck eight days later.
New faces charges of murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical
evidence and being a persistent felony offender. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if New is convicted.
New has been on the Kentucky sex offender registry since March
2000. He was convicted of sodomy involving 11- and 9-year-old victims in northern Kentucky.
Ivan was buried in his mother's hometown of San Juan Tapalapa,
Guatemala, in August. His mother, Rosa Cano, who is in the United
States illegally, was granted a special visa allowing her to leave and return to the country as a material witness in the criminal investigation.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)