The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

February 19, 2014

Access should be important to all

Over the last 10 days or so, the Times Herald (and public) have been given access to court documents and access to the proceedings involving a murder case in Washington. We are relieved that our fight for access seems to be over, and for the most part we are encouraged that our fight has enlightened, if not educated, the law enforcement arm of Daviess County.

Criminal cases can’t simply be slapped shut at the courthouse without public notice, and hearings must be held, according to state law. We do commend Daviess Superior Court Judge Dean Sobecki for eventually setting the hearing in the motion to seal for the case, which led to the subsequent brief filed with the court, and ultimately access to the case.

Daviess County Prosecutor Dan Murrie ended up turning over a second amended Probable Cause Affidavit in the case against Logan Evans, an 18-year-old accused of using a shotgun to kill another Washington teenager, Devan Burris. Also, the court docket for Evans has since been opened to the public.

While we have not been able to view the original Evans affidavit, the newspaper has been able, following its fight, gained access to the court proceedings for not only Evans, but accused co-conspirator Lucas Benjamin.

And the case against defendant Heaven Berry, who is Evans’ cousin, has also been opened. Berry is accused of helping Evans hideout the weekend following the Friday early morning shooting back on Dec. 6.

It is important to note that the newspaper did not go to the trouble to file briefs with the court, hire an attorney, and make a fuss about public access simply to flex its muscle.

We take our role as Daviess County’s No. 1 public watchdog very seriously.

Court information, including charges, motions, dates and even cause numbers in this murder case were unavailable to the public. We felt a pending criminal case where a 17-year-old had lost his life, and the lives of three other young adults hang in the balance, was a matter of significant public interest.

Text Only
Columns
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.Sometimes it could be as simple as a C-note handshake or a little cash slipped into a player’s socks outside his locker with a note telling him to

    July 25, 2014

  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014

  • I am proud to fight against the 'War on Coal I recently signed on as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan bill led by one of my Democrat colleagues from West Virginia that would stop the newly released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on existing coal-generated power plants.He

    July 16, 2014

  • EPA regulations are very bad for District 63 The coal industry has played an integral role in our nation’s history, and District 63 is very close to the heart of it all. Information on the Institute of Energy Research’s website reveals that from a global standpoint, the United States has the la

    July 16, 2014

  • Update from Veale Creek Players Update from Veale Creek PlayersEditor:Veale Creek Players just finished the second week of the children’s summer camp with a pizza cast party. All parents and friends of our future actors/actresses were invited and enjoyed being part of the Veale Cre

    July 16, 2014

  • James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician.In returning to his home

    July 16, 2014

  • Say yes to the dress (at least at some point) Next month, the beloved boyfriend and I will celebrate two years of togetherness. For me, this is a huge milestone and for him, well, I guess this illustrates how patient and tolerant of my quirks he is (or maybe that’s the other way around. Remember

    July 12, 2014

  • Moving towards a better tomorrow This past week a federal judge ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but in Daviess County there were no wedding bells ringing for same-sex couples. Despite receiving an email from the Indiana Attorney General’s office advising coun

    July 5, 2014