COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 and Channel 2 joined a large group of Colorado media organizations requesting Letecia Stauch’s arrest affidavit be unsealed.
The motion was filed Monday afternoon by Denver-based attorney Steven D. Zansberg. It requests the court orders the affidavit to be unsealed.
Zansberg is representing 14 print, broadcast and digital media platforms based in both Denver and Colorado Springs.
The affidavit has been sealed since Stauch was arrested last week. She is accused of killing her stepson, 11-year-old Gannon Stauch.
The state is not opposed to the unsealing of the affidavit. However, Stauch’s legal counsel says she is opposed to it.
Zansberg argues that while sealing the affidavit is common prior to a warrant being executed, the affidavit is typically unsealed — even in high-profile cases — once the warrant has been executed and the preliminary investigation is complete.
Moreover, Zansberg says that because a potential trial in this case is months away, there are multiple ways to protect Stauch’s fair trial rights and “there is no basis for continued denial of the public’s rights to access judicial records” on file.
“While the public’s right of access to court records is a qualified one – not absolute – judicial records may properly be sealed from public inspection only where findings have been made, on the record, that continued sealing is necessary to protect an extremely weight governmental interest and that no less restrictive alternative means exist to adequately protect that interest. Such findings have not been made, nor can they be made, with respect to the affidavit of probable cause on file in this Court. Accordingly, the Media Petitioners respectfully seek the immediate unsealing of the affidavit of probable cause,” the motion states.
Zansberg requested the court allow the media petitioners to be heard on the matter “at the earliest practical time.”