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Press banished from courtroom
Adult transfer hearing closed to media
BillLockeWEB
Juvenile Court Judge Bill Locke
The press was banished from the courtroom Thursday during the transfer hearing for four 17-year-olds who prosecutors want to try as adults for the robbery and murder of Oswaldo Luna.“Out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to close this hearing while we take up sensitive matters involving the teens,” said Juvenile Court Judge Bill Locke in clearing the room of all but parents of the four juvenile suspects. “We don’t want to risk error as we go forward.”Locke made the decision to clear the courtroom after he was prompted by a motion presented by Public Defender John Partin.“I don’t think the press should be permitted to be present during this matter,” Partin protested just before a hearing was to begin for Charles Guess, Malik Scott, Melvin Horn and alleged trigger man Sam Brinkley. He maintained juvenile law allows the court to limit public exposure in juvenile matters.Brinkley reportedly confessed to panicking and opening fire as they were trying to rob Luna of marijuana.